World No.1 Victoria Azarenka and the player less than 48 hours away from overtaking the WTA pedestal Serena Williams have reached the final of the $2,369,000 Qatar Total Open. The action in the semis featured all the Top 4 women’s tennis players, but those with dominantly favorable head-to-head records were victorious yet again.
Victoria Azarenka may be losing her No.1 ranking, but she’s nowhere near exhausting her winning streak against Agnieszka Radwanska. Only in the first half of 2012 Azarenka beat Radwanska six times, but ever since they avoided each other in draws, until now, the Doha venue where they had tensions last year, when Radwanska accused Azarenka of gamesmanship. However, Radwanska is still waiting for her five minutes, as today Azarenka scored yet another comprehensive victory against her, 6-3 6-3, to reach the final of the Qatar Total Open. In the beginning of the match Azarenka dropped serve once, but after breaking for 3-2 in the first set she barely looked back, not facing a break point ever since.
In the other semifinal on Saturday, Serena Williams beat Maria Sharapova for the eleventh straight time, 6-3 6-2, the streak that stretches back to 2004. It was an easy victory for Williams, in one hour and 13 minutes. Sharapova would have claimed an additional Diamond Ball trophy, had she won her third title at the Doha tournament, but she couldn’t even take one of Serena’s service games.
Serena is an astonishing 11-1 against Azarenka. Her only loss came in the 2009 Miami final. Last year Serena beat Azarenka five times, twice in finals (Madrid and the US Open). (photos: © Neal Trousdale)