Victoria Azarenka put her best effort of the season into the quarterfinals but was unable to knock off the world’s ..."/> Victoria Azarenka put her best effort of the season into the quarterfinals but was unable to knock off the world’s ..."/> Victoria Azarenka put her best effort of the season into the quarterfinals but was unable to knock off the world’s ..."/>

Williams makes late comeback to defeat Azarenka

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Victoria Azarenka put her best effort of the season into the quarterfinals but was unable to knock off the world’s best. Serena Williams made her comeback in the late stages of the match winning 3-6, 6-2, 6-3 on centre court Tuesday afternoon

The series between the two was lopsided with Williams leading for most of the way. The last time she allowed Azarenka to win was back in 2013 at the Cincinnati Masters. With this in the Belorussian’s mind, she will have to do whatever it takes o upset her on grass. The opportunity nearly came at the Madrid Masters until a bad call against Azarenka changed the pace entirely causing Williams to be victorious once again.

When it comes to Wimbledon, Azarenka had the slight advantage playing a match at the AEGON International before pulling out with an injury to prepare for the tournament. Williams has had one challenge so far yet took care of Heather Watson in three sets.

Since then she has been showing her contention to be the first player since Steffi Graff in 1988 to win all four majors in a single year. With this being the third time Williams and Azarenka have met, things either will have a change or remain as they were.

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Azarenka and Williams split the first pair of games before the Belorussian got the best advantage to take the lead. She moved ahead on two game point winners in two straight games that gave her a 3-1 margin over Williams. Azarenka continued her climb leading 4-1 before Williams could find a way to deal with it. She took the sixth game with a brief victory before Azarenka returned to her own agenda.

She most wanted the hold of set as the knowledge of William’s strength was well known by her. The lead was hers at 5-2 where in the eighth, Williams fought back from 40-15 to force deuce and break serve to win. Azarenka went to get a new racket before her start of Game Nine smartly putting the set in her favor. It took just 35 minutes for the set to complete between such strong competitors that have been in marathon matches in the past.

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This was not the case at start as the Belorussian made her statement early to pressure the number one ranked player onward. Azarenka had a 72 percent success rate on the first serve scoring 19 of 23 against Williams. Despite having three unforced errors that could have changed the entire pace of the game, the key came down to unforced errors which Williams have more of with four.

With the second becoming a chance for a comeback by the American, she took the chance of playing even tennis with Azarenka. The two got into a tie after the opening pair of games where as soon as Williams regained the lead, Azarenka came back to attack. Game Four was the highlight of the match where Azarenka made a mistake on a game point shot that caused Williams to return on deuce After a nine minute marathon through five breaks, the Belorussian held on to stay even with Williams.

After another pair of games on deuce, Williams had the endurance to play through giving her a two game lead over Azarenka. The margin of victory in the second set continued to fall in the hands of Williams as her march to evening the match came with a 5-2 hold. In Game Eight, Williams allowed Azarenka a shy lead before she shut the door fast to take the set in 52 minutes.

The third deciding set opened with Williams gaining a huge advantage over Azarenka. Her power seemed too much for the Belorussian to handle despite gaining a win in the fourth. Williams responded right back to take a 4-1 lead making the hole much too big for a comeback. With the score out of her mind, Azarenka kept her energy high to gain her second win on two game point winner over Williams.

Williams went up 5-1 as the pressure to survive was all on Azarenka to make it or break it. In a show of terrific effort, the Belorussian made her march with two wins through to the eighth game where she had just two games to tie the match and force things back with Williams. It would never go that far as Williams fired back at Azarenka to force a short deuce before watching the ball fall out of bounds to send Williams into the semifinals.

The match took just over two hours to complete with two big points in mind. The first was that Williams found a way to get back into the match at any point against anyone. This has occurred twice and if consistency keeps on, would continue into her match against Maria Sharapova Thursday. The second is the return of Azarenka who clearly showed a will to attack no matter what the score or the odds. With an assurance of being in the top 20, the Belorussian will return in the next tournament with plenty of wit, skill and energy to get back on top.