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Serena Williams, Victoria Azarenka Reach U.S. Open Women’s Final

Azarenka Reaches U.S. Open Final
Victoria Azarenka of Belarus hits a backhand during her semifinal match against Maria Sharapova of Russia at the U.S. Open in New York on Sept. 7, 2012. Photographer: Cameron Spencer/Getty Images

Three-time champion Serena Williams lost only eight points on her serve in a 6-1, 6-2 defeat of Italy’s Sara Errani as she advanced to face top-seeded Victoria Azarenka of Belarus in today’s U.S. Open women’s final.

Williams, 30, the fourth seed from the U.S., had 38 winners compared to six for her 10th-seeded opponent. She completed the 64-minute victory with her ninth ace of the match.

Azarenka, 23, defeated No. 3 Maria Sharapova of Russia in three sets in yesterday’s other semifinal at the National Tennis Center in New York to reach her first U.S. Open final.

“It’s really awesome, this is what I wanted and dreamed of all year,” Williams said in an on-court interview. “I’m really happy I’m in the final again, and I’m really excited.”

Weather permitting, the men’s semifinals will be held this afternoon followed by the women’s final at night. According to, the forecast calls for a 30 percent chance of thunderstorms starting at 4 p.m. and continuing through the night.

Defending champion and No. 2 seed Novak Djokovic of Serbia plays No. 4 David Ferrer of Spain in one of the men’s semifinals. No. 3 Andy Murray of Britain faces No. 6 Tomas Berdych of the Czech Republic in the other.

Williams, who has not dropped a set in the tournament, won 32 of 40 points on her serve and never faced a break point in the match.

“I think she is incredible,” said Errani, 25, who had never gotten past the third round of the U.S. Open until this year. “When she play like this, I think she’s best player in the world.”

Azarenka-Williams Record

Azarenka, who needed two hours, 42 minutes to win 3-6, 6-2, 6-4 against 2006 champion Sharapova, has lost nine of her 10 career matches against Williams.

Williams had 24 aces while defeating Azarenka 6-3, 7-6 (8-6) in the Wimbledon semifinals in July, and then beat her 6-1, 6-2 in the semifinals of the London Olympics last month.

“I definitely need to find something to surprise her, because she’s in a great form and feeling really confident right now,” Azarenka told reporters. “She has everything on her side.”

Azarenka, who had never advanced beyond the fourth round of the U.S. Open until this year, had no aces and five double faults in her semifinal, and just one winner in the first set. Sharapova also had more double faults (10) than aces (8) in a match between two women who accompanied every stroke with a shriek.

Azarenka, who now is 12-0 in three-set matches in 2012, will try to become the first woman since Martina Hingis in 1997 to win the Australian Open and U.S. Open in the same year.

Sharapova, 25, was trying to become the first woman since Belgian Justine Henin in 2006 to reach three Grand Slam finals in a year. She won the French Open and lost in the Australian Open final to Azarenka.

‘It’s Frustrating’

“It’s frustrating, but it’s the game of tennis,” Sharapova said in a news conference. “Just making too many errors and not putting too much pressure on her.”

Brothers Bob and Mike Bryan won their fourth U.S. Open men’s doubles title with a 6-3, 6-4 victory against Leander Paes and Radek Stepanek.

The Bryans moved into a tie with Bob Lutz and Stan Smith for the most men’s doubles titles since the U.S. Open began accepting professionals in 1968. Bob Bryan now is tied with John McEnroe for the most men’s titles, eight, of any player in the professional era.

The American duo also surpassed the Australian doubles team of Todd Woodbridge and Mark Woodforde with their 12th Grand Slam men’s doubles title of the professional era.

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