US Open 2020: Osaka-Azarenka to be crowned, Serena Williams out


New York: Serena Williams failed to make the most of a good start due to an ankle injury and her 24th Grand Slam title was shattered as she defeated Victoria Azarenka in the semi-finals of the US Open tennis tournament here on Thursday night.

Azarenka defeated her strong rival 1-6, 6-3, 6-3 to make it to the finals of a Grand Slam tournament for the first time since 2013. In the title match, they will face 2-time Grand Slam champion Naomi Osaka, who defeated America’s Jennifer Brady 7-6 (1), 3-6, 6-3.

Serena had a pain in her ankle and meanwhile took a ‘time out’ as well. Azarenka did not lose patience despite losing the first set easily and managed to defeat Serena for the first time in 11 matches in the Grand Slam tournaments. Azarenka later said, ‘It took 7 years to reach here. This is my favorite number. To reach the final, you have to beat the best players and today was the same day.

Azarenka won the Australian Open in 2013 and 2013. In both these years she also reached the final of US Open but failed to overcome Serena on both occasions. The way Serena won the first set, it seemed that she would be able to easily make it to the finals here for the third time in a row, but Azarenka won five consecutive games in the second set and then took a 3-0 lead in the third set. The opponent did not get a chance to return.

Azarenka bounced back in style. He put 12 winners in the second set and made only one mistake. This time in the third set, he presented a great example of his expertise at baseline, especially Serena had no answer to his backhand. Now Azarenka and Osaka will be face to face. Both these players have been number one in the past. Azarenka has moved his victory campaign from this victory to 11 wins, while Osaka has also won 10 consecutive matches.

The final of the Western and Southern Open between Azarenka and Osaka was also to be played, but the Japanese players withdrew from the title due to a muscle strain. Osaka, who won the title after defeating Serena in 2018 at Flushing Meadows, said after reaching the final, ‘It means a lot to me. I consider New York as my second home.
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