Azarenka Clinches No. 1 Ranking, Meets Sharapova In WTA Championships SFs; Will The Winner Meet Serena Sunday?
by Staff | October 26th, 2012, 11:23 pm

Tournament favorites Serena Williams, Maria Sharapova and Victoria Azarenka all reached the semifinals at the WTA Championships at Istanbul. Serena and Sharapova both qualified Thursday while Azarenka needed a win over Li Na today and got it 7-6, 6-3.

The win for Azarenka not only puts her in the semifinals against Sharapova, but it also clinches her as the 2012 year-end WTA No. 1.

“It’s a dream come true and I feel great,” Azarenka said. “Now I just want to play my last matches of the year and then after that I can relax and enjoy this moment more. Right now I’m in competition and trying to focus on every single day – there’s still a lot of challenge in this tournament.”

Azarenka has won the last six hardcourt meetings against Sharapova, and overall she leads the Russian 7-4.

“There are definitely not going to be any surprises tomorrow, but it’s a different occasion, a different place, “Azarenka said. “I’ve never played her at the WTA Championships, so it’s new and it’s not new – you can take it both ways.”

In the earlier semifinals, it’s a battle between power against placement as Serena faces Agnieszka Radwanska in a rematch of their three-set Wimbledon final.

While Serena enjoyed a day off after three straight set wins, the underdog Radwanska will have to recover quickly after spending nearly three and a half hours in a win today over Sara Errani.

“Obviously Serena’s a great champion – in that kind of match I have nothing to lose, so I’ll just go on court and enjoy it,” Radwanska said. “I’ve had a lot of tennis the last few days and it’s really hard to play like this every day.

“I’ll try my best, but we’ll see how it’s going to be!”

Serena has won all three meetings with Radwanska.

Stadium (from 13.00hrs)
1. Huber/Raymond vs. Hlavackova/Hradecka
2. Serena Williams vs. Agnieszka Radwanska (NB 15.00hrs)
3. Maria Sharapova vs. Victoria Azarenka
4. Errani/Vinci vs. Kirilenko/Petrova

Also Check Out:
Sharapova, Azarenka, Serena Survive Wild Day At WTA Championships; Victoria Tries To Clinch No. 1 Ranking Thursday
Serena Rips Up Azarenka At WTA Championships, Lifts Sharapova’s No. 1 Hopes
Azarenka, Serena, Sharapova Battle In Istanbul For No. 1 Ranking, Player Of The Year Honors
Serena Meets Sharapova For WTA Championships Title
The Istanbul WTA Championships Are Set, Li Na Completes The Year-End Field

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9 Comments for Azarenka Clinches No. 1 Ranking, Meets Sharapova In WTA Championships SFs; Will The Winner Meet Serena Sunday?

Kimmi Says:

6-2 6-1! Wow, that was a rout.

Kimmi Says:

sharapova is very good so far.

Kimmi Says:

congrats to sharapova, too good for azarenka today.

Kimberly Says:

Pleasantly surprised sharapova made it to the final by beating azarenka bit not sure I can beat to watch yet another Williams
Beatdown. It was ok at the Olympics because I was rooting for Williams to add to the us medal count but the rest of the matches r brutal

steve-o Says:

Azarenka attained her goal, sealing the top spot for the end of the year. Congrats to her, even though she lost.

As for Sharapova, as usual she’s worked very hard and is a tough competitor but as Kimmi said, I suspect she’s in for a straight-sets pulverizing tomorrow.

jane Says:

Kimberly, agreed.

Kimmi Says:

I think it will be a close match. serena not serving great this tournament and sharapova playing well. If sharapova serve well like today, she has a chance.

azarenka serve is what did her today. she is a very good player but her serve is still her huge problem.

Kimberly Says:

Kimmi-each match I think its going to be different but its always the same old song. 6-0 6-1. At least Sharapova got over one of her nemesis this tournament, Azarenka, who she lost so many finals to this year.

I agree with you about Azarenka serve. It is defintely the weak point of her game. The rest of her game is very complete, she is a great mover too. Had Serena not existed she would be a legitimate number one. But its hard not to consider Serena the “real” number one when she just creams all the other top players. The way I see it the top four made it to the semi-just not in order. I see it as
1. Williams
2. Azarenka
3. Sharapova
4. Radwanska
Womens tennis, once quite unpredictable is developing some consistency, if you look at the GS finals, except for the French, the top 4 present in all
FO Sharapova ERRANI
Wim-Williams Radwanska
USO–Williams Azarenka

jane Says:

“Womens tennis, once quite unpredictable is developing some consistency, if you look at the GS finals, except for the French, the top 4 present in all”

Good point Kimberly!

I know what you mean about this too: “think its going to be different but its always the same…” Oh well, at least Maria keeps fighting, gotta give her that! She doesn’t seem to let the losses, even beat-downs, demoralize her too much.

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