Azarenka stroms into Brisbane International semis

Brisbane, Jan 7 (IANS) Belarusian tennis star Victoria Azarenka continued her relentless march towards a second Brisbane International title with a quick-fire 6-1, 6-2 quarter-final win over Italian Roberta Vinci here on Thursday.

Having dropped just seven games across the opening two rounds, Azarenka put No.8 seed Vinci to the sword in similarly ruthless fashion.

Azarenka set her stall out on the opening point, arrowing a backhand return into the corner. The break swiftly followed and while she was unable to hold onto this for long, she was soon ahead once more thanks to a fizzing double-handed winner.

Twenty minutes later she swatted another backhand away to take the set. In the second, it was the forehand that came to the fore, a brilliant stretching passing shot and a crisp down-the-line winner creating the vital breakthrough in the sixth game.

“I’m pretty pleased with tonight,” Azarenka said after the match.

“Thank you for the full crowd – you guys make me play much better, that’s for sure. I feel like I was really focused from the beginning and I knew she wasn’t going to give anything away so I had to take control and really dictate the play.”

“I’m glad I stayed strong and focused in the difficult situations and really fought for every point,” the World No.22 added.

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