Saturday, July 31, 2010

Stanford semifinals a piece of cake for the birthday girl

"I think I just have long arms and long legs," Victoria Azarenka told ESPN today, when asked how she is able to so routinely and successfully return the serve of Sam Stosur. Azarenka, who turns 21 today, gave herself the gift of a straight sets win against Stosur in today's Stanford semifinals. Her 6-2, 6-3 victory over the tournament's top seed makes her 4-0 against Stosur, against whom she has yet to drop a set.

Yesterday, Azarenka defeated defending champion Marion Bartoli, and is now 4-0 against her, too. Azarenka has yet to lose a set to the Frenchwoman.

Azarenka has struggled for much of the season with injuries to both her leg and her hamstring muscle, but she has looked wonderful in Stanford this week. Though Stosur's heavy topsin and high-kicking balls do damage to the majority of players, Azarenka handles them with ease. Stosur, unfortunately, has now established a pattern in which she waits too long to increase her aggression in a match. That happened today against Azarenka, whose momentum was hard to stop.

Azarenka, seeded 8th in Stanford, has not won a title this year, but she has played in two finals. In tomorrow's final, she will play either Maria Sharapova or Agnieszka Radwanska.

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