Williams to meet Azarenka in final
Sat, 08 Sep 2012 12:02p.m.
On Saturday, Australian Open champion Azarenka will play in her second major final of the season - and career - against 14-time Grand Slam champion Serena Williams.
Seeking a fourth title at Flushing Meadows, the fourth-seeded Williams wasted little time or energy while overwhelming 10th-seeded Sara Errani of Italy 6-1, 6-2.
Williams, trying to become the first 30-year-old woman to win the U.S. Open since Martina Navratilova in 1987, compiled a 38-6 edge in winners in her 64-minute semifinal against Errani.
Since a surprising exit at the French Open in late May, her only first-round loss in 49 appearances at major tournaments, Williams is 25-1, including a title at Wimbledon and gold medal at the London Olympics.
Williams has a 9-1 career record against Azarenka.
"I've got to do something different, to be honest," Azarenka said.
Asked whether she would watch video of their past matches, Azarenka joked: "Well, I don't want to be depressed."
Then again, the way Azarenka dealt with Sharapova, she's probably feeling pretty good about herself. She certainly looked pleased while doing a little jig after Sharapova's forehand sailed long on the final point of their 2-hour, 42-minute quarterfinal.
"I was just not trying to focus on the score," Azarenka said. "Trying to give whatever it takes."
Sharapova double-faulted 10 times, a recurring theme ever since she returned from surgery on her right shoulder in 2008.
"I gave her too many free points," Sharapova said.
This has been a resurgent year for the Russian, who completed a career Grand Slam by winning the French Open in June, was the runner-up at the Australian Open and the Olympics, and briefly returned to No. 1 in the rankings - a spot that now belongs to Azarenka.
"I'll take the results I had this year," Sharapova said.
She reached her first U.S. Open semifinal since winning the 2006 title thanks to overcoming deficits en route to three-set victories in the fourth round and quarterfinals. But she didn't have one more late-match charge in her.
When Sharapova broke Azarenka to go ahead 1-0 in the second set, she appeared to be in control. But that's when Azarenka fought back, taking four consecutive games.
"All heart," said Azarenka, a 23-year-old from Belarus.
"That's what I feel like we play for, we live for," Azarenka said, "to play on these big stages against such champions."
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