Victoria Azarenka beat Sam Stosur in the quarter-finals. Source: AFP/theaustralian.com.au
Victoria Azarenka and Maria Sharapova will meet for the fourth time in 2012 when they do battle in the first Women’s semi-final at the US Open on Saturday morning (AEST). World number one Azarenka has won both of this season’s hardcourt meetings between the pair in straight sets , with the first of those coming in the Australian Open final in January. Indeed the past four times that they have met on a hardcourt, the Belarusian has won in straight sets. Sharapova was triumphant the last time that they met, on the clay in Stuttgart five months ago however.
Azarenka faced her first big test of the tournament when she defeated defending champion Sam Stosur in the last round, winning a final set tiebreak after the Australian levelled the match by taking the second set. Prior to that match, the top seed had been in ominous form, dropping just ten games in the opening four rounds.
After cruising through her opening three matches, 2006 champion Sharapova has come through tough three set encounters against compatriot Nadia Petrova and 11th seed Marion Bartoli, where she came from a set down to win. The Russian has a phenomenal record in matches that have gone to three sets, winning all twelve of her fixtures that have gone the distance this year and losing just one of thirteen in 2011.
The winner of this match will meet either Serena Williams or Sara Errani in the final, with that pair due on court at the completion of their match.
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