Victoria Azarenka, the 8th seed in the Sony Ericsson Open and the champion in 2009, made her way to the final tonight by soundly defeating an error-prone Vera Zvonareva 6-0, 6-3 in the semifinals. Zvonareva was the tournament's 3rd seed; Azarenka took out the 2nd seed, Kim Clijsters, in the quarterfinals. Even though she is a former champion, Azarenka has moved rather quietly through this event, and her level of play has risen with ever new match.
Earlier today, Andrea Petkovic saw her excellent run end when she played Maria Sharapova. Sharapova won, 3-6, 6-0, 6-2, and that scoreline tells you what you need to know. "More than anything," Sharapova said after the match, "I sensed that she was tired--probably a lot of the dancing that she's been doing--and I took advantage of it." That is, of course, a reference to the dance the 21st seed does after a victory. By the way, Petkovic says she is doing away with this routine, so we have seen her last dance, but I may keep calling her Dance Party--it's a habit.
Sharapova, the 16th seed, has a 2-2 record against Azarenka. The final takes place on Saturday, and it's going to be a loud one.