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US Open Preview: Azarenka relishes chance to face Williams in final again

September 07, 2013 15:11 IST

US Open Preview: Azarenka relishes chance to face Williams in final again

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A confident Victoria Azarenka will get a chance to avenge last year's US Open final defeat to Serena Williams after the pair came through their semi-finals on Friday to set up a re-match.

Second-seed Azarenka beat Italy's Flavia Pennetta 6-4, 6-2 and will now face an opponent she has beaten just three times in 15 meetings.

Two of those wins have come this year, on hard courts in Doha and Cincinnati, but Azarenka isn't reading too much into those results.


Image: Victoria Azarenka of Belarus
Photographs: Mike Segar/Reuters

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'It's always a new story'

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"Its not that I don't care what happened in the past, but I don't think there is a need to pay so much attention to what happened," said the Belarussian. "It's always a new story.

"I don't even think that it's going to be close to the same as it was last year.

"We know each other pretty well. I know her strengths; she knows my strengths."


Image: Victoria Azarenka of Belarus
Photographs: Kena Betancur/Reuters

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'I'm a more complete player'

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Last year's final went to three sets with Williams edging the final set 7-5 but Azarenka believes her game has improved in the past 12 months.

"It hasn't changed tremendously but there are aspects that got better physically," said Azarenka, who will be trying to add the U.S. Open crown to her two Australian Open grand slam titles. "Mentally I felt like (this year) was a great turning point for me on some level for my career.

"I feel like I'm a better player. I'm a more complete player."


Image: Victoria Azarenka of Belarus returns a backhand
Photographs: Elsa/Getty Images

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'Being able to pick up and raise the level is important'

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Azarenka didn't sparkle against Pennetta, grinding out a win in a match which saw her serve broken five times and she conceded that she struggled to find momentum.

"There are always things that can be better. I felt like the first set was a little bit tricky -- the momentum wasn't there," she said.

"Just being able to pick up and raise the level in the important moments, that's what it's all about, to be able to do that."


Image: Victoria Azarenka celebrates
Photographs: Maddie Meyer/Getty Images

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