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.

Latest Headlines

in Local

Clinton Rallies Democrats in Maine for Michaud

Fresh
BwkXc4UIEAAn_xM

Former President Bill Clinton says Democrat Mike Michaud is what Maine needs in a governor to bring people together.

in Local

Portland Man Buys New England’s Tallest Lighthouse

GENERIC LIGHTHOUSE

YORK, Maine (AP) _ A Maine man is buying New England's tallest lighthouse for $78,000.

in Local

Interim Leader For UMaine-Augusta Is Named

GENERIC SCHOOL

The University of Maine System says former House Speaker Glenn Cummings has been tapped to serve as interim president of the University of Maine at Augusta.

in Local

Police: Maine Man Assaulted Police Dog

GENERIC POLICE CAR

A 22-year-old Maine man is in custody facing charges he assaulted a state police dog.

in Local

Report: Alternative Energy to Grow in Maine

WGAN-100x100

An unreleased Maine state report says alternative energy is among the industries with the best potential for job growth in the state.