Defending Champion Victoria Azarenka Beats Sloane Stephens, Through to Final
2013 Australian Open Women's Semifinal
Victoria Azarenka  beat Sloane Stephens : 6-1, 6-1
She might have taken six match points to do it, but defending champion Victoria Azarenka booked her place in the final once more with a win against American Sloane Stephens.
After simply dominating Stephens 6-1 in the opening set, Azarenka appeared to have the match all but won when she served for the match leading 5-3 in the second. However, even after having five match points, she could not break Stephens, who broke the World No. 1 to bring it back to 5-4.
Azarenka would then leave the court in dramatic circumstances to have two injury timeouts for an ankle injury sustained in the fifth game of the second set.
The Belarussian also said after the match that she was suffering some mental fatigue and heat exhaustion as temperatures sky-rocketed on court.
In the end, she would break Stephens' serve in the following game, and would go on to win the match 6-4 and move through to the 2013 Australian Open final, where she will face China's Li Na, who beat Maria Sharapova earlier in the afternoon.
The defending champion Azarenka will try and repeat her 2012 success early Saturday morning, with the match scheduled to commence at around 1:30 a.m. ET.
Azarenka wins 6-1, 6-4.
An incredible second set from both players, with Sloane Stephens surviving five match points, but could not hold serve against Victoria Azarenka's powerful game.
We'll no doubt see plenty from Stephens throughout her career, who has shown here at the Australian Open that she is a real talent for the future.
Azarenka, on the other hand, deserves full credit for fighting through injury and perhaps some mental fatigue to book her place in her second straight Australian Open final.
And she's done it!!!!!
GAME, SET, MATCH: VICTORIA AZARENKA 6-1, 6-4.
MATCH POINT AZARENKA.
A great forehand down the line for Azarenka gives her a sixth match point—this time against the Stephens serve.
Can she finally get it?
Deuce, Stephens serving, trailing 5-4 second set.
Stephens still not hitting the winners like she did yesterday, but it's been Azarenka's hit-and-miss style of play of late keeping this one close.
Great play from the World No. 1 to force deuce.
30-15, Stephens serving, trailing 5-4 second set.
Huge double fault from Stephens, but follows it up with a great forehand down the line.
Azarenka not able to run it down, unsurprisingly.
Azarenka back on court.
Stephens to serve at 5-4 with new balls.
Huge game ahead.
BREAKING: AZARENKA CALLS FOR THE PHYSIO AND DOCTOR.
After blowing five match points in the one service game, Victoria Azarenka has now called for the doctor and physio on to the court—clearly under some duress.
Simply unbelievable scenes on center court; can Stephens pull off what would be the most remarkable comeback like she did against Serena Williams yesterday?
Victoria Azarenka has left the court for an injury timeout.
Azarenka appeared to be in trouble after injuring her ankle in the fifth game of the second set, which clearly has been causing her some problems.
STEVENS BREAKS AZARENKA!!
Somehow, Azarenka blows a chance to serve for the match and an amazing forehand down the line gets the game break for Sloane Stephens.
Azarenka had five match points and won none of them, now Stephens will serve to stay in the match. Incredible scenes at Rod Laver Arena.
Now Stevens misses one!
Stephens with a chance to break Azarenka after a great backhand across court, but cannot get the job done because of another unforced error.
Her 40th mistake for the match.
Inches out for Azarenka there, which she did challenge, but was out by about two inches.
Can she create another chance here?
Has blown five match points...
MATCH POINT AZARENKA.
Stephens into the net again and Azarenka can win it again.
Fifth match point for the defending champion.
MATCH POINT AZARENKA.
Azarenka serving for the match.
Can she do it this time? Great play from Azarenka to get the forehand down the line in, which set up the forehand smash at the net next point.
This is Azarenka's fourth match point... and she puts it into the net.
MATCH POINT AZARENKA!!!
Advantage, Azarenka. Azarenka serving for the match.
No, she cannot.
Stephens had the chance to put that one away there—forehand smash at the net—but sent it long and it's another match point for Azarenka.
Deuce, Azarenka serving for the match.
Stephens survives again because of an Azarenka mistake!
The mental state of Vika is nowhere near together right now and she is seemingly exposed—can Stephens finish her here and get back into the match?
Deuce, Stephens survives two match points!!!
Azarenka's forehand is long and Stephens forces a deuce.
Great scrambling play from Stephens to hang in there against Azarenka. Can she stay alive here and not give up a cheap unforced error?
40-30, Azarenka serving for the match.
Stephens comes up with a big backhand across point to stay alive.
Still one more match point for Azarenka.
MATCH POINT AZARENKA!
40-15, Azarenka serving for the match.
Stephens overcooks her forehand across court and it's match point for the defending champion.
30-15, Azarenka serving for the match.
Big ace out wide. Huge shot from Azarenka.
15-all, Azarenka serving for the match.
Stephens answers back with a big forehand of her own—this time down the line out of the reach from the outstretched backhand of Azarenka.
15-0, Azarenka serving for the match.
Big forehand winner across court for Azarenka.
Game, Azarenka, leads 5-3 in the second set.
Serving for the match!! Somehow stays alive in the point, and Vika will serve for a spot to take on Li Na in the 2013 Australian Open final.
15-40, Stephens serving, trailing 4-3 second set.
Great backhand across court from Azarenka to get break points.
She could be serving for the match...
15-all, Stephens serving, trailing 4-3 second set.
The crowd is definitely behind Stephens here, with Azarenka getting very frustrated at herself and her inability to find the winners she once had.
Stephens continues to make easy mistakes, though, which is keeping Vika alive.
Game, Stephens, trails 4-3 second set.
Azarenka clearly very angry and agitated here, and gives back the break against Stephens here after a couple of deuces and double faults.
Stephens quietly trying to pump herself and get something going.
Break point, Stephens.
Big forehand across court from Stephens.
Brings up break point again, but her return is long.
Deuce, Azarenka serving and leading 4-2, second set.
What is the duplicate article?
Why is this article offensive?
Where is this article plagiarized from?
Why is this article poorly edited?