Twice Australian Open Champion Victoria Azarenka is in another semifinal for the first time in 10 years. Azarenka beat top seed Jessica Pegula 6-4, 6-1 in one hour and 37 minutes.
The former world No. 1 was quickest out of the blocks and raced to a 3-0 lead 13 minutes into the first set before Pegula, the No. 3 seed from Melbourne, got on the board.
Azarenka hit 17 winners but committed just 20 unforced errors compared to Pegula’s 31 and won 74 points to 54 for her opponent. After winning in 2012 and 2013, this is the first time he has entered the finals of his favorite tournament.
In the court interview, Azarenka said: “It hurts to win it, I always want to do well. At the same time, I knew I had to play my best. It’s been amazing, so consistent.
“I knew from the first point that I had to bring it, to take advantage of the opportunities. I am very proud that I executed my game plan very well. It’s great to be in the finals of another Grand Slam,” added Azarenka, 33 years old.
Pegula, who was in the midst of an eight-match winning streak, praised his more experienced rival and said the two-time champion had steadily moved forward throughout the contest.
“Hitting the ball deep, taking it early, changing the direction of the ball, doing things that I usually like people to do,” Pegula told WTA Insider.
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“He was doing well. [She] it was hard for me to feel like I could really push myself [and] I felt that he was constantly pressuring me all the time.’
The opponent in the semifinals will be the current Wimbledon champion, Elena Rybakina, who beat Jelena Ostapenko 6-2, 6-4 in 79 minutes.
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