Melbourne, Australia (Sports Network) - World No. 1 and defending champion
Victoria Azarenka rolled into the semifinals of the Australian Open with a
7-5, 6-1 victory over two-time Grand Slam champion Svetlana Kuznetsova on
The match did not start in Azarenka's favor, as the Belarusian fell into an
early 3-1 hole in the first set after a 10-deuce game Russia's Kuznetsova was
finally able to take with her first break.
But Azarenka returned the favor with a break of her own while also holding
serve on her next two attempts to knot the score at 4-4.
Each player held serve over the next two games until Azarenka earned her
second break of the set and then fought through another tough deuce to take
the 77-minute first set.
The second set started with three straight breaks before Azarenka finally held
serve at love to jump on top 3-1.
Azarenka then closed out her dominant second set with two more breaks to
advance and keep her hopes of a repeat title alive.
Wednesday's other quarterfinal match will pit third-seeded former No. 1 Serena
Williams versus 19-year-old 29th-seeded fellow American Sloane Stephens.
Williams owns 15 major singles titles, including last year's Wimbledon and
U.S. Open championships, and she's an Open Era-record five-time Aussie Open
The Sports Network