Azarenka proves too strong for battling Stosur
World No 1 Victoria Azarenka brought Sam Stosur’s US Open title defence to an end in an excellent women’s singles quarter-final at Flushing Meadows yesterday. Stosur fought back impressively after a poor first set but was edged out in the final tie-break, with Azarenka winning 6-1, 4-6, 7-6 (7/5) to reach her first US Open semi-final.
The top seed has looked back to the form that helped her to 26 wins in a row at the start of the season, including her first grand slam title at the Australian Open. She had dropped only ten games on her way to the last eight and was facing a player she had not so much as dropped a set against in six previous meetings. Stosur made the worst possible start by dropping her serve and was 3-0 down when a very heavy rain shower forced the players off court for more than an hour.
The Australian at least got herself on the board on the resumption but too many unforced errors handed the set to Azarenka. Stosur began the second set well, breaking her opponent’s serve for the first time and, although the Belarusian hit straight back, it was a much more even contest. Indeed, it was the seventh seed who gained the advantage again in the seventh game with another break and this time she held on.
After four successive breaks in the deciding set, Azarenka was throwing everything at her opponent but she refused to buckle. Stosur even had a break point at 5-5 only for Azarenka to come up with an ace.
The match was decided on a tie-break and, despite Stosur hitting back after a terrible start, Azarenka took the match.
The 23-year-old said: “I think we both showed some excellent tennis. We gave it our all.”
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