Williams, Azarenka set up US Open semi-final clash

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Serena Williams of the United States and Victoria Azarenka from Belarus will meet in the semifinals of the US Open after beating their respective rivals in the women’s singles quarterfinals on Wednesday.

Williams had to come back from a set and a break down to storm to a 4-6, 6-3, 6-2 win against Bulgaria’s Tsvetana Pironkova while Azarenka dropped just one game against 16th seed Elise Mertens of Belgium to seal a spot in the semifinals.

“A match like today, I just feel like Pironkova was serving well, she was hitting winners everywhere,” Williams said. “Maybe I wasn’t being aggressive enough. So I think it’s more or less me adjusting my game in the second set and coming back and just trying to do better.”

“It’s not how you start, it’s how you finish, right?” added Williams. “I just feel like, I’m okay. I’m ready to play three sets every match if I have to. It doesn’t matter. A win is a win.”

Williams will take on Azarenka in the semifinals, who triumphed against Mertens 6-1, 6-0.

“I felt today I really executed the game very precisely,” Azarenka said. “I was moving really well. I made the ball very long. So I felt I played well. I found all the right answers to everything she was trying to make, so I’m very happy with that.”

In the men’s quarterfinals, second seed Dominic Thiem of Austria eased past Australian player Alex De Minaur 6-1, 6-2, 6-4 while third seed Daniil Medvedev of Russia defeated compatriot Andrey Rublev 7-6(6), 6-3, 7-6(5).

In a women’s doubles semifinal, China’s Xu Yifan teamed up with American Nicole Melichar to edge past Asia Muhammad and Taylor Townsend of the United States in three sets to reach the final. They will meet the unseeded pairing of Laura Siegemund of Germany and Vera Zvonareva of Russia in the final.

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