Serena sets Radwanska date

Serena sets Radwanska date

Tennis Wimbledon: US ace outclasses Victoria Azarenka in semis for a title clash with talented Polish lass

Serena sets Radwanska date

Serena Williams produced another staggering display of serving to reach her seventh Wimbledon singles final with a 6-3, 7-6 victory over Victoria Azarenka on Thursday.

The 30-year-old American, contesting a 21st Grand Slam semifinal, fired down a tournament record 24 aces to snuff out the challenge of the second-seeded Belarusian who clung on bravely to force a second-set tiebreak.

Azarenka saved one match point at 5-6 but Williams blasted down another ace to seal it 8-6, moving to the brink of her 14th Grand Slam singles title and first since overcoming career-threatening injuries and illness.

She crouched down and started roaring with delight before shaking hands with her opponent and jumping up and down on Centre Court in scenes of unbridled joy.
“I've been working so hard, I really wanted it,” the sixth-seeded Williams said in a courtside interview. “She was playing well and I got a little tight in the second set. I was looking too far in the future. I was just getting excited that I was so close, but I can't do that. I was happy to get through that second set tiebreak.”

Agnieszka Radwanska became the first Pole to reach a Grand Slam final for 73 years when she overpowered German Angelique Kerber 6-3, 6-4 in the other semifinal.

Complete domination

Williams dominated the first set in the sunshine, barely conceding a point on her own serve and regularly threatening to break Azarenka.

The second set was much tighter, however, as Azarenka clawed her way into the match, finding the range on her dipping groundstrokes and breaking the Williams serve for the first time in the sixth game.

The Australian Open winner pushed the four-times Wimbledon champion into a tie-break and saved a match point when Williams lobbed long but the American took her next opportunity with yet another ace to seal victory in 96 minutes.

Meanwhile, in the other semifinal, Radwanska overcame a shaky start to slam the door on her friend Kerber.

The German led the first set 3-1 following an early break. But third seed Radwanska found her range and grew in confidence, forcing the left-handed Kerber to run around court.

“We are really good friends, of course, but on court we're opponents and you're trying everything to make the final,” Radwanska said.

“We both were a bit nervous at the beginning, of course. You really want to try your best but sometimes you want it too much and your hands are shaking about, but after that I concentrated on every point.”

The 23-year-old broke back to level the first set at 3-3 when eighth seed Kerber netted a forehand and did so again to lead 5-3 before serving out for the set, which she sealed with an ace in under half an hour.

Radwanska broke again early in the second set and although Kerber had one huge chance to level for 3-3, when her opponent put a backhand behind the baseline following a 16-stroke rally, the German wasted it sending a forehand long.

After that, Kerber never looked like getting back into the match and Radwanska sealed victory on her first matchpoint to become only the second Pole to reach a Grand Slam final.

Jadwiga Jedrzejowska was the runner-up at the 1937 Wimbledon and US Championships and the 1939 French Championships.

Bopanna-Zheng advance

Rohan Bopanna and his Chinese partner Jie Zheng reached the mixed doubles quarterfinals with a straight-set victory over the Italian pair of Daniele Bracciali and Roberta Vinci.

The tenth-seeded Indo-Chinese combo caused an upset with a comfortable 6-0, 6-3 victory over their sixth-seeded opponents in just 40 minutes at the All England Club.
They will now take on the second-seeded American duo of Mike Bryan and Lisa Raymond.

Leander Paes and his Russian partner Elena Vesnina reached the quarterfinals of the mixed doubles with a straight-set victory over Australia’s Ashley Fisher and Mona Barthel of Germany on Wednesday.

The fourth seeded Indo-Russian pair beat Fisher and Barthel 6-3, 6-3 in a match that lasted just over an hour. The duo will next take on Belarussian pair of Max Mirnyi and Victoria Azarenka. In the first set, Paes and Vesnina broke their rivals thrice out of the six opportunities, while the Australian and German pair converted the only chance that came their way.

In the second set, the Indo-Russian pair converted one out of the five break point chances and did not give any opportunity to their rivals.

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