Top-ranked Serena Williams has made it to the finals of the U.S. Open and will be facing No. 2 Victoria Azarenka with the championship on the line.
If that seems familiar, you need to look back no further than one year ago. Williams earned her fourth U.S. Open victory in 2012 after a back-and-forth battle with Azarenka.
This rematch promises to be another exciting showdown between two of the top tennis players in the world, so make sure you keep reading to find out where and when to tune in to the action.
When: Sunday, Sept. 8 at 4:30 p.m. ET
Where: USTA Billie Jean King National Tennis Center, Arthur Ashe Stadium, New York City
Azarenka hung tough against Williams last year, but it’s going to be even more difficult for the Belarusian to keep things close when you factor in how her American opponent is playing in 2013.
The 31-year-old hasn’t lost a set since this Grand Slam event began and hasn’t exactly faced pushovers either. Williams made a mockery of the semifinals by eliminating No. 5-ranked Li Na 6-0, 6-3 in one of the most lopsided matches of the tournament.
Azarenka’s semifinal showdown with Flavia Penenetta wasn’t nearly as mismatched. Vika needed to dig deep to overcome her opponent in a 6-4, 6-2 showdown that wasn’t nearly as one-sided as the score makes it appear.
Williams’ romp through Flushing Meadows has extended her season record to a ridiculous 66-4, a run that includes eight titles.
There is one notable tournament missing from Williams’ list of achievements this year, that being the Western & Southern Open—held just prior to the U.S. Open every season.
Although Serena advanced into the finals, Azarenka would eventually dethrone her in an epic battle. The match would go the distance, with an exhausted Vika eventually claiming victory in a 2-6, 6-2, 7-6 (8-6) test of wills.
The 24-year-old Azarenka has the agility and size to match Williams, but her power is lacking. She’s also been battling injuries and lately seems to always be at a high risk to succumb to one.
Who will win?
Vika is going to have to be both lucky and good to somehow get past the 16-time singles Grand Slam winner she will be facing across the net. It’s going to take the patience to pick spots, the ability to pester Williams into getting upset and making angry mistakes and the fortitude to grind out a win after multiple sets.
It’s not easy, but Azarenka proved capable at the Western & Southern Open and may have more up her sleeve on Sunday.