News

Victoria Azarenka reaches U.S. Open finals

Victoria Azarenka reaches U.S. Open finals

Victoria Azarenka, of Belarus, reacts after defeating Flavia Pennetta, of Italy, during the semifinals of the 2013 U.S. Open tennis tournament, Friday, Sept. 6, 2013, in New York. Photo: Associated Press/Darron Cummings

By Simon Evans

NEW YORK (Reuters) – Belarussian Victoria Azarenka reached her second straight U.S. Open final with a 6-4 6-2 win over Italy’s Flavia Pennetta on Friday.

Second seed Azarenka, who lost to Serena Williams in last year’s final, could get a chance for revenge if top-seeded Williams beats China’s Li Na in the Friday’s other semi-final.

“I’m so excited. It’s been a long road to the final. It’s an amazing feeling, to fight for the trophy,” said Azarenka, a former U.S. Open junior champion and mixed doubles winner.

Both players struggled to keep their serve on center court with 13 breaks of serve in the 18 games but Azarenka’s power was too much for the enterprising Pennetta, who returned from a serious wrist injury to reach her first grand slam semi-final.

There were five service breaks in a row before Azarenka, the Australian Open winner, held to win the set after an intense battle where the unseeded, 31-year-old Pennetta saved five set points.

The second set followed a similar pattern, with three broken serves before Azarenka turned up the power, holding to go up 3-1 in the set and then breaking Pennetta, ranked 83rd in the world, with a powerful backhand winner.

Azarenka, 24, also struggled to make her serve count though, offering a glimmer of hope to the 31-year-old Italian when she went wide with a return on break point.

But once again Pennetta was unable to hold, twice finding the net to hand Azarenka the chance to serve for the game and despite a brave effort from the Italian, who produced a sizzling return down the line in the final game, Azarenka sealed the win with a well-placed forehand.

Recent Headlines

in Entertainment

Today in entertainment history: Oct. 22

Fresh
beachboys2

A look back at the Hollywood headlines that went down in history.

in Local Sports

Stars hold off Canucks to win 6-3

Fresh
Dallas Stars head coach Lindy Ruff looks on from the bench during the first period of an NHL hockey game against the Philadelphia Flyers Saturday, Oct. 18, 2014, in Dallas.

The Dallas Stars held off the Vancouver Canucks 6-3 on Tuesday night.

in Sports

World Series: Bumgarner, Pence lead Giants over Royals in Game 1

San Francisco Giants starting pitcher Madison Bumgarner talks to the media before baseball practice Monday, Oct. 20, 2014, in Kansas City, Mo. The Kansas City Royals will host the San Francisco Giants in Game 1 of the World Series on Oct. 21.

The San Francisco Giants beat the Kansas City Royals 7-1 in Tuesday night's World Series opener.

in Local Sports

WWU Golf: Women 2nd at Sonoma St. Men 8th at CSUMB Invitational

golf ball

Viking women place second at Sonoma State Invitational. Vikings’ Jenn Paul ties for third in medalist play. WWU Men 8th at CSUMB Invitational. Western’s Hatch ties for 11th, Schrader ties for 13th in medalist play.