FLUSHING MEADOWS, NY -Â No. 1 Victoria Azarenka edged out defending champion Samantha Stosur 6-1, 4-6, 7-6 (5) in 2 hours, 23 minutes on Tuesday to move into her first US Open semifinal.
â€œShe really pushed me,â€œAzarenka said of Stosur. â€œWe fought really hard.Â I felt like there wasn’t something, you know, somebody was missing.Â It was always somebody had to grab the opportunity, you know, to provoke mistakes.Â Even though there were mistakes, but there was provoking them, you know, coming in and playing big shots. Â I think that the quality of tennis was really high, and it was tense because it could go either way.Â But, you know, it was like breaks but still, you know, somebody â€‘â€‘Â like me or Sam we would come back strong and play that next game, be really, you know, determined and motivated even though you lost the game before.â€
â€œShe never gives up,â€ Stosur said.Â â€œShe fights very hard every single match she plays and she does it very well.Â That’s probably part of the reason she’s No. 1 at the moment.Â She’s one of the players you have to get out there and â€‘â€‘Â she barely gives you any points and you have to work hard for every single point you get.â€
The match was interrupted by a 76-minute rain delay.
AfterÂ a first set dominated by Azarenka, Stosur began striking her forehand hard and playing more aggressively Â to capture the second set.
The third set was a battle of breaks, and break-backs, with Stosur coming back from being down a break, twice.
In the third set tiebreak, Azarenka stormed to a 4-0 lead, with Stosur winning the next three points, with the tiebreak getting to 5-5.
Azarenka set up a match point with an ace, and Â won the match on a forehand which hit the baseline which Stosur could not handle with her backhand.
Azarenka continued her perfect record in three-set matches this year at 11-0.
â€œFor being first time in the semifinals in the US Open is incredible feeling for me,â€ said the Belarusian.Â Definitely I don’t want to stop.Â I really want it bad. Â I’m going to do absolutely everything I have, you know, to give it all here.
Azarenka will play the winner of the Maria Sharapova â€“ Marion Bartoli match for a place in the final.
â€œI love New York, â€œ Azarenka said. â€œ I feel like it’s a great place, just a beautiful city.Â It’s one of my favorite places in the world. Â I said it many times that I feel like fans are really appreciative here.Â Really feel like they make you feel special when you step on the court.Â They are so educated with tennis. Â But not only with tennis but the whole sports in the States.Â The energy when you walk on the court, you feel the crowd, you feel the boost.â€