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US Open 2020 Women's Semi-final HIGHLIGHTS: Victoria Azarenka Beats Serena Williams, Naomi Osaka Reaches 2nd Final

News18 Sports | September 11, 2020, 09:27 IST
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US Open 2020 Women's Singles Semi-finals HIGHLIGHTS: Victoria Azarenka defeats Serena Williams 1-6, 6-3, 6-3 to reach her third US Open final. Victoria Azarenka took the second set 6-3 against Serena Williams to level the match and made her way back in the semi-final. Serena took the first set 6-1 with absolute ease as Azarenka failed to find her range at all. Earlier, Naomi Osaka advanced to her second US Open final with a 7-6 (1), 3-6, 6-3 win over American Jennifer Brady, whose dream run came to an end.

Follow the News18 Sports' live blog on the US Open women's singles semi-finals, which will start with Brady and Osaka and will be followed by Serena and Azarenka. Osaka, who is in her second US Open semi-final, is eyeing a second win at Flushing Meadows and a third Grand Slam title. For Brady, it is uncharted territory as this is her first Grand Slam semi-final. Serena is still eyeing Margaret Court's record of 24 Grand Slam titles while Azarenka, who recently won Western & Southern Open, is a former world No.1 in New York, she has reached two finals but has no title to show.
Sep 11, 2020 09:27 (IST)

Here are the full match statistics of the women's singles semi-final between Serena Williams and Victoria Azarenka, which the latter won. Shows how close the match was! 

Sep 11, 2020 09:23 (IST)

"It's been seven years, it's my favourite number, so I guess it's meant to be. I am very grateful for this opportunity. I am grateful to be playing against such champions.

"(Had never defeated Serena in Majors) I knew it's never over till I have another chance. I knew it wasn't over at 5-3 as well. I held on. (Back when she lost a final to Serena) I was young, my ego was way bigger back then.

"It is the daily work I have been doing to keep calm mind but keep moving my body for energy. There was no crowd for energy so I had to do it myself. She dug me a big hole in the first set, I am glad to have turned it around.

"I hope it inspires women to go out and chase their dreams. You don't have to be just one thing. I am a mother but also a tennis player and fighter on court. I want to inspire my kid. I hope women know they can do anything.

"So excited to play against her (Naomi Osaka), we didn't get to play last week. She is super powerful. I have to stay super strong. Playing in the final is a blessing and I am going to take all the fun out of it."

Sep 11, 2020 09:21 (IST)

Victoria Azarenka beats Serena Williams 1-6, 6-3, 6-3 to reach her third US Open final. It was an incredible turnaround for Azarenka, who looked completely down and out after the first set but managed to turn it around brilliantly to give herself the opportunity to win her first US Open.

Sep 11, 2020 09:13 (IST)

Set 3: Serena 6-1, 3-6, 3-5 Azarenka* | Serena holds her serve 40-15 and leaves it to Victoria Azarenka to serve out the match. The two-time US Open finalist, who lost to Serena on both occasions, can she do it?

Sep 11, 2020 09:08 (IST)

Set 3: Serena* 6-1, 3-6, 2-5 Azarenka | Another good service hold from Azarenka, a comfortable one and now she is just a game away from her third US Open final. Azarenka movement on the court, the quality of her strokes and the punch in them is top-class right now. Serena is finding it difficult to deal with the intensity.

Sep 11, 2020 09:05 (IST)

Set 3: Serena 6-1, 3-6, 2-4 Azarenka* | An easy service hold for Serena there, even though she made a double fault while 40-0 love. Azarenka is returning so well right now that it is forcing Serena to go bigger.

Sep 11, 2020 09:01 (IST)

Set 3: Serena* 6-1, 3-6, 1-4 Azarenka | Net cord helping Azarenka when she was 15-30 down and then she slams a down-the-line forehand to go up 40-30. A big first serve and then a backhand to the other side gets Azarenka over the line and she holds her serve. Azarenka survives another Serena push and this is edgy action at the Arthur Ashe Stadium now.

Sep 11, 2020 08:56 (IST)

Set 3: Serena 6-1, 3-6, 1-3 Azarenka* | Lots of "c'mon" and screams at the Arthur Ashe Stadium right now as Serena Williams works hard to hold her serve and stay in the semi-final.

Sep 11, 2020 08:53 (IST)

Set 3: Serena* 6-1, 3-6, 0-3 Azarenka | Some nervous vibes from Azarenka at 30-30 but she gets to 40-30 and then serves up an ace to close down the game to take a 3-0 lead in the deciding set.

Sep 11, 2020 08:51 (IST)

Set 3: Serena 6-1, 3-6, 0-2 Azarenka* | Azarenka has punched it down! Serena, unable to hold her lines, was broken and Azarenka has a solid lead in the match now.

Sep 11, 2020 08:45 (IST)

Serena has her ankle strapped completely and after Victroria Azarenka makes her hustle on the court a lot, she held her ankle in pain and called for a trainer. The trainer checked and she took a medical timeout, wherein her ankle was further strapped.

The momentum was all with Azarenka, will this break her rhythm? Will Serena will able to move well on the court?

Sep 11, 2020 08:41 (IST)

Set 3: Serena* 6-1, 3-6, 0-1 Azarenka | Oh that huge Serena scream! Serena comes to the net and wins the first point of her service game with a kill at the net. From 40-0 up, Azarenka stormed right back to take it to deuce with her backhand firing. After a lot of hustle on the court, Serena worryingly held her strapped ankle called for the trainer.

via GIPHY

Sep 11, 2020 08:37 (IST)

Set 3: Serena* 6-1, 3-6, 0-1 Azarenka | Azarenka starts the decider on a good note as she grinds out to hold her serve. She is making Serena move on the court now and Serena has been misfiring while Azarenka seems more agile and consistent now.

Sep 11, 2020 08:33 (IST)

Victoria Azarenka has found a fresh rhythm as she breaks Serena Williams once more to take the second set 6-3 and force a deciding set. This just got very interesting!

via GIPHY

Sep 11, 2020 08:31 (IST)

Set 2: Serena* 6-1, 3-5 Azarenka |  Azarenka holds her serve with ease. She is in her rhythm now, showing her range of strokes, consistent backhand and attacking Serena up front.

Sep 11, 2020 08:21 (IST)

Set 2: Serena 6-1, 3-4 Azarenka* | Two break points come and go for Azarenka but she is playing so much better now and creating pressure on Serena. Serena has lost all seven of her second serve points so far. Serena, though, shows her composure once again and holds her serve.

Sep 11, 2020 08:18 (IST)

Set 2: Serena* 6-1, 2-4 Azarenka | Another love hold for Azarenka, her second straight. This is finally turning right for Azarenka. Serena will now have to just dig in.

Form 52 per cent first serves in and a just a 40 percent win ratio in the first set, Azarenka has bettered her first serve in percentage to 81 and is winning 77 per cent of them. That is how better Azarenka is now!

Sep 11, 2020 08:13 (IST)

Set 2: Serena 6-1, 2-3 Azarenka* | 0-30 down, Serena gets a big first serve in and let's out a "c'mon" to pump herself up. But Azarenka brings her A return game and beautiful backhand to get herself two break points. She converts in just her first point to get right back in this semi-final.

Sep 11, 2020 08:10 (IST)

Set 2: Serena* 6-1, 2-2 Azarenka | Azarenka holds her serve to love. She is playing better now, giving herself some chance here. She has even put 10 out of 12 first serves in this set and that has been a huge help for her.

Sep 11, 2020 08:07 (IST)

Set 2: Serena 6-1, 2-1 Azarenka* | A brilliant last point as both players exchange angled, powerful groundstrokes. Serena shows excellent movement on the baseline to stretch and bang the forehand to get the last point.

Sep 11, 2020 08:03 (IST)

Set 2: Serena* 6-1, 1-1 Azarenka | Azarenka holds her serve even as Serena pushes on. Azarenka let out a scream after holding her serve and she has to stay in this to give herself any chance.

Sep 11, 2020 08:00 (IST)

Here are the statistics from the first set of Serena Williams vs Victoria Azarenka.

Sep 11, 2020 07:59 (IST)

Set 2: Serena 6-1, 1-0 Azarenka* (* denotes next server) | A dominant service hold by Serena as she hold her serve 40 to love. It is all Serena right now and even though the American is playing good tennis, it is more about how weak and patchy Azarenka is right now.

Sep 11, 2020 07:57 (IST)

Set 1: Serena 6-1 Azarenka | From 40-0 up, Serena takes Azarenka to deuce. Azarenka was really good in the first three points but not so much in the next three. She is so inconsistent right now that it is just playing in Serena's hands. Serena then converted her second set point to ease through the first set.

Sep 11, 2020 07:46 (IST)

Set 1: Serena 5-1 Azarenka* | Azarenka is finally getting into her elements, she is opening up the court, coming to the net, going for the winners, and stretching Serena. She is able to bring up a break point but then sprays her backhand to get it to deuce. Serena, then, gets to advantage with a big first serve. However, Azarenka's consistent returns make Serena send a forehand wide. An unforced error from Azarenka as she hits the net despite a couple of massively attacking strokes that stretched Serena. She holds her serve!

Sep 11, 2020 07:39 (IST)

Set 1: Serena* 4-1 Azarenka | Azarenka is having to work so hard for every single point right now, she could be heard cursing, "it's f*****g s**t," she said in the middle of her service game. But she finally gets on board as well. Azarenka shows her range, plays some powerful shots to the line to get '1' against her name.

Sep 11, 2020 07:36 (IST)

Set 1: Serena 4-0 Azarenka* | Another easy hold of serve for Serena Williams to open up a 4-0 lead. This first set looks like it will be a walkaway for the six-time champion. Azarenka just can't find her length yet.

Sep 11, 2020 07:32 (IST)

Set 1: Serena* 3-0 Azarenka | Serena, who has had slow starts at US Open, will not mind this. Azarenka has literally gifted her an ideal start with two breaks of serve.

Sep 11, 2020 07:27 (IST)

Set 1: Serena 2-0 Azarenka* | Serena starts her service game with a double fault but then holds with ease by taking the next four points to close out the game. An ideal start for the six-time champion.

Sep 11, 2020 07:24 (IST)

Set 1: Serena* 1-0 Azarenka (* denotes next server) | What a terrible start for Azarenka as Serena rights away breaks her without even doing much. Surely, this is nerves speaking for Azarenka. After all, this a rematch of the two US Open finals she has lost!

US Open 2020 Women's Semi-final HIGHLIGHTS: Victoria Azarenka Beats Serena Williams, Naomi Osaka Reaches 2nd Final
Naomi Osaka (L) and Victoria Azarenka. (Photo Credit: US Open Twitter)

Osaka has two Grand Slam titles to her name while Brady had never been past the fourth round at any major tournament until this week even though she won her first WTA title at Lexington, Kentucky after lockdown. She and Osaka have played twice, each winning once by a 6-4, 6-4 score, although Brady’s victory came six years ago.

Williams vs Azarenka is a rematch of US Open 2012 and 2013 finals, both of which were won by Serena. Williams is closing in on what would be her seventh U.S. Open championship and record-tying 24th Grand Slam singles title overall. She has made it to the semifinals in each of her past 11 appearances in New York. Azarenka is a two-time Australian Open champion on a 10-match winning streak and back in a Grand Slam semifinal for the first time in seven years. Williams leads Azarenka 18-4 head-to-head.