The hit of the women’s tournament. The US Open, which in men suffered a tremendous shock with the disqualification of Novak Djokovic, now experienced the great impact of the elimination of Serena Williams. Her executioner was Victoria Azarenka, who will play Saturday’s grand final at the New York Grand Slam against Naomi Osaka.
The second semi-final in New York cement was the most anticipated. And boy did she have everything. Azarenka and Serena punished each other hard from the bottom in a very changeable clash in the domain and that ended up being the most important due to the goodbye of the hostess. The score of 1-6, 6-3 and 6-3 for the Belarusian marked her arrival at the fifth Grand Slam final, the first in seven years and being a mother.
Azarenka, a cross between ex-N ° 1 in the world and owners of Majors, began, strangely, very nervous, tense, to see how Serena literally erased her in the opening set. In a few minutes it was 0-4 and that was taken advantage of by the youngest of the Williams, who had not been playing at a high level, suffered three sets more than once, but was in the semifinal with a set up and dreaming of the title, to be able to equalize finally the historical record of the Australian Margaret Court of 24 crowns in the Grand Slam.
But again the dream was gone. From the beginning of the second set, Azarenka was very different: active, hitting hard and with precision, she was looking for angles so as not to let her hit Serena, almost 39 years old, comfortably. And it gave her revenue, because she found spaces and her base shots allowed her to have control of the actions.
Finally, the triumph in three sets meant for Azarenka the first over the youngest of the Williams sisters in a Grand Slam, since in the big tournaments she had lost all 10 matches against the American. This duel of over 30s and moms was then historic for both.
The winner of two Majors, the Australian Open 2012 and 2013, beat the winner in 23 Majors and that, since she had her daughter, she has not managed to match the top mark of Court. She was denied in different tournaments and here she dreamed of being able to fulfill that pending desire. But again he couldn’t, this time because of the fall against Azarenka.
It was the first meeting between the two since Indian Wells 2019 and now the Belarusian is 5-18 on the record. For the winner it is her third final at the US Open, a contest that she still could not conquer, yielding to Serena in 2012 and 2013, while the local won it six times.
On Saturday, then, Azarenka will define with Osaka, another former leader of the WTA ranking and who, like her, also obtained two Majors. The young Japanese beat another American, Jennifer Brady, 7-6 (1), 3-6, 6-3 to advance to her third definition in the big events. And so far she won the two that she played.
Undoubtedly, the big blow was caused by Azarenka when Serena took off from the race, who in the middle of the last set requested medical assistance for pains in her left ankle. That did not influence in the end and the victory of the Belarusian was deserved. And there is a high-flying final against an Osaka who also arrives in great shape on the hard courts of New York. The European comes from celebrating in Cincinnati, when the Japanese could not appear in the final and now she wants to fight for the title on the court.