Thursday, July 5, 2012
Serena into 7th Wimbledon final with win over Azarenka
Serena Williams reached her seventh Wimbledon final hitting 24 aces to beat Victoria Azarenka 6-3, 7-6.
The final point of the match was, fittingly, the record-breaking ace.
"I've been working so hard, and I really, I really wanted it," said Williams. "I got a little tight in the second set. I couldn't relax. I was like, looking too far in the future and she came back. But I'm glad I was able to get through."
Williams controlled the play against Azarenka in the first set with her service game, winning 20 of the 24 points she started. She then went up an early break in the second set, but Azarenka responded to make it 3-3.
They held the rest of the way, and Williams picked up her final three aces in the tiebreaker.
"I'm so excited. I've been working so hard. I really wanted it," Williams said. "Victoria's a great player and has been playing really well. I got a little tight in the second set - I think I was looking too far into the future and getting too excited about it. So I'm really happy I got through that second set tie-break."
And on the serving? "I definitely thought I served well," the American said. "Actually during the match I thought I didn't serve well. I thought, 'Gosh, I've got to get more first serves in.' I didn't think my first serve percentage was up there.
"It really didn't feel like I hit 24 aces at all. I felt like I maybe hit 10."
"The serve is the one difference that brings her to the higher level," Azarenka said. "I just tried to fight and tried to stay in the moment. If I got a chance, I just tried to grab it. It was really close, but it just wasn't my day today.
"She serves 200. I don't see anybody else serving like this on the tour. And she places it well. But there's no point to sit here and cry how unfortunate it was for me because she played great - I just have to give her all the credit."
Williams will face Agnieszka Radwanska in Saturday's final.