The women's semifinals of the 2013 U.S. Open went according to the form book as the top two seeds dominated their opponents in Flushing Meadows.
Though both players have had to overcome adversity at times during the tournament, it's no surprise that they are the last two standing.
While Williams and Azarenka were expected to reach the final four, their opponents weren't considered among the favorites heading into the tournament, and each had to conquer quality opponents to get this far.
With the concluding match of the women's Open on tap, here's a look back at Friday's semifinals.
Victoria Azarenka vs. Flavia Pennetta
It's a shame that Italian underdog Pennetta's Cinderella run had to come to such an abrupt end. The 31-year-old was one of the feel-good stories in New York, and put together a remarkably deep run.
But Pennetta's first trip to a Grand Slam semifinal was a decidedly brief one. Azarenka did what was expected and dispatched the aging former world No. 10 in straight sets.
Azarenka's speed and ability to keep the pace of the match to her liking was far too much for Pennetta to handle, and the Belarusian marched to a 6-4, 6-2 victory.
After overcoming a scare in the first set, in which the 24-year-old was pushed to a deuce, the two-time Australian Open champion gritted her teeth and steamrolled her opponent in the second set.
Azarenka struggled at times early on, only winning two service games in the opening set, but she was aided by the hurdles Pennetta faced when dealing with her own serve.
Azarenka's biggest challenge will be against the player she fell to in last year's final, but the No. 2 seed has reason to believe this time around, given that she defeated Williams in Cincinnati earlier this summer.
Regardless of the outcome of the final, Pennetta should be proud of the run she orchestrated, but Azarenka simply out-classed her on the big stage.
Serena Williams vs. Li Na
Williams is the unquestioned favorite to retain her title and has been virtually unstoppable in her quest for a fifth U.S. Open crown.
In the semifinals, the 31-year-old hard-hitting California native delivered yet another dominating performance against Li.
Williams hasn't dropped a set to the former French Open champion since 2009. Her game is perfectly suited to neutralize that of the Chinese star, and once again Williams overwhelmed the No. 6-ranked 31-year-old.
Ultimately, Li self-destructed to a certain degree. She double-faulted four times and struggled to win critical first-serve points, claiming just 50 per cent of such situations to Williams' 76 percent.
Williams is the overwhelming favorite, despite her loss to Azarenka in Ohio. When Williams is on her game, there's no stopping her.
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