Second seed Azarenka into Wimbledon semi-finals
LONDON — Second seed Victoria Azarenka reached the Wimbledon semi-finals for the second successive year on Tuesday with a 6-3, 7-6 (7/4) win over unseeded Austrian Tamira Paszek.
Azarenka will face four-time champion Serena Williams for a place in Saturday’s final.
“The games were really close and we were holding serve really well until the end of the second set,” said Azarenka.
“Then it turned around. We had a lot of long rallies which is not surprising as we have really similar games.
“Against Serena, there can be no better opponent in a semi-final. It’ll be a tough challenge but that’s what you’d expect.”
Australian Open champion Azarenka has reached the semi-finals without dropping a set and before Tuesday’s clash under the Centre Court roof she had lost just 14 games in four rounds.
The 22-year-old, who had defeated Paszek at the same stage of Wimbledon last year, eased through the first set and then broke for 5-4 in the second set and a chance to serve out the match.
But Paszek, who came into Wimbledon having captured the Eastbourne title and beat former world number one Caroline Wozniacki in the first round at the All England Club, suddenly rallied.
The Austrian carved out her first break points of the match to level at 5-5 before a sloppy service game handed the initiative back to the second seed.
Again Azarenka was unable to finish and was broken again as the second set was decided by a tie-break.
Paszek edged 2-0 ahead in the breaker before Azarenka’s raw power took her through with her 33 winners to her opponent’s 25 proving crucial.
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