Serena defeats Azarenka in three sets to advance to Wimbledon semifinals
LONDON – Follow along below for live updates of the Wimbledon 2015 quarterfinal matchup between No. 1 Serena Williams and No. 23 Victoria Azarenka.
Serena leads their head-to-head 16-3 but there's something about the match-up against Azarenka that puts her on edge. Azarenka has yet to lose a set or lose more than four games in a single set, booking her quarterfinal spot with a 6–2, 6–3 win over No. 30 Belinda Bencic on Monday. A two-time semifinalist at Wimbledon, the former No. 1 has pushed Serena to the brink in their last two matches. During the clay season, Azarenka had match points and could've handed Serena her first loss of the year in Madrid. Then at the French Open, she led by a set and a break before losing 3–6, 6–4, 6–2 in the third round.
"The key is for me, I still need to find it because I haven't beat her in the Grand Slam," Azarenka said. "So for me, I still have to find that extra step to go a little bit further."
"I've had a couple of tough matches with Victoria," Serena said. "It doesn't matter who I play, I'm going to be ready. I'm going to have to be ready. She's due to win big and to do really well. Incidentally, so am I."
Serena is coming off her best performance of the tournament, a 6–4, 6–3 win over her sister Venus. Every aspect of Serena's game was firing on Monday and she showed why, even if she has not made it past the quarterfinals since 2012, she is always the favorite at Wimbledon. She fired 10 aces and 36 winners to just 13 unforced errors against Venus. Her return game, which should decide her match-up against Azarenka, was on fire. She got 70% of her returns back in play, zinging five for clean winners.
Serena Williams d. Victoria Azarenka 3–6, 6–2, 6–3 to advance to Wimbledon semifinals.
Set 3: Serena Williams, 6–3.
6:37 p.m.,Serena holds, leads 5-2*.
6:29 p.m., Serena holds, leads 4-1*.
6:24 p.m., Serena breaks and leads 3-0*.
Set 2: Serena Williams, 6-2.
6:10 p.m., Serena wins the second set 6-2.
6:02 p.m., Serena saves two break points to hold, leads 5-2*.
5:59 p.m., Serena BREAKS, leads *4-2.
5:47 p.m., Serena saves break point to hold, leads 3-2*.
5:45 p.m., Azarenka saves break points to hold, tied 2-2.
That was a huge opportunity for Serena to jump on top of Azarenka early here. It might have been the most important game of the match.
5:30 p.m., Serena holds, leads 2-1*.
How does Serena respond? By picking up the intensity. It's getting loud out there.
Set 1: Victoria Azarenka wins, 6–3.
After a few technical difficulties, we continue our live blog here. Keep following, because this is a match you don't want to miss.
How the first set unfolded: After a nervy start in her opening service game, Azarenka played a near-perfect set. Serena's return game hasn't been great so far today and she couldn't jump on Azarenka's serve, which should be there for Serena to hit.