16 Oct 2021, 11:17
Update : 16 Oct 2021, 12:19

Azarenka books spot in WTA Indian Wells final

  INDIAN WELLS, United States, Oct 16, 2021 (BSS/AFP) - Victoria Azarenka,

who is trying to become the first three-time WTA winner in Indian Wells,
punched her ticket to Sunday's final by rallying to beat former French Open
champion Jelena Ostapenko 3-6, 6-3, 7-5 on Friday.

  Two time Australian Open winner Azarenka continued her solid play in the
California desert as she goes for her first title of 2021 and 22nd of her

  The 32-year-old arrived in the semi-finals without dropping a set and after
losing the first one to Ostapenko on Friday night she settled in and found
her form.

  Azarenka will face either Ons Jabeur of Tunisia or Paula Badosa of Spain,
who squared off in the other semi on Friday night at the Tennis Garden

  Azarenka is seeking to win the tournament for the third time after
victories in 2012 and 2016. She is the only former champion left in either
the women's or men's field and with another victory can separate herself from
a group of women who have won the trophy twice that includes Martina
Navratilova, Serena Williams and Maria Sharapova.

  Azarenka clinched victory on her first match point when Ostapenko slammed a
forehand into the net.

  This was the second career meeting between the two but the first on
hardcourt so it took Azarenka time to feel her opponent out and figure out
what her weaknesses.

  Ostapenko controlled most of the first set, breaking Azarenka in the second
game to go up 2-0. She then held serve to jump out to a 3-0 lead using her
powerful ground strokes to move the Belarussian around the court.

  Azarenka went down again 2-0 in the second set but then caught fire while
holding serve in the third game.

  That started a run of five straight games to take a 5-2 lead. Ostapenko
held serve once more but Azarenka served out the set to level the match.

  Azarenka raised her level another notch in a hard fought third set, winning
the final three games to get to the final.


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