They exchanged a cold handshake at the net, apropo for two women who had spent the last two hours shrieking at each other, and Azarenka blew kisses to the crowd and did a Charleston-type jig in celebration, while Sharapova hurried off the court.
ESPN’s Mary Carillo during ESPN’s coverage of the match commented on the WTA’s willingness to try and ensure a next generation of non-shriekers, but their aversion to going head-to-head with the two queens of shriek.
Azarenka beat Sharapova 3-6, 6-2, 6-4 to advance Friday into her second Grand Slam final.
“I just tried to you know not focus on the score, to give whatever it takes,” said Azarenka on court after the match. “I know my opponent is going to try hard, so I just try harder. [It's my] first [US Open] final and I’m so excited, I don’t want to leave, I want to play another [match] again.”
Sharapova was frustrated at coming so close.
“It’s frustrating, but it’s the game of tennis,” Sharapova said. “A lot of swings in the match today. I had the lead and the advantage, but she picked up her game. And in the third set it had a lot to do with the returns. I didn’t do much on her service games — she was winning them pretty easily. Mine were quite long…It’s New York; it’s a Grand Slam; it’s the US Open. This is what you practice for, is to get in those situations and try to get out of them; today I just didn’t.”
In the final the exuberant Azarenka will play Serena Williams, who in a replay of this year’s French Open final mowed over Sara Errani 6-1, 6-2.
Williams, who hasn’t lost a set in the event, has lost only 19 games over her first six matches, and at one point won 23 straight games stretching over three matches.
“I’m American guys, go USA, it’s an Olympic year, we can do it,” Williams told the crowd afterwards, seeking her 15th Slam singles title.
This year Serena has beaten Azarenka at the Olympics, Wimbledon, and Madrid. Serena leads the head-to-head 9-1, losing her only meeting with the Belarussian at Miami in 2009.
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