News

Victoria Azarenka reaches U.S. Open finals

Victoria Azarenka reaches U.S. Open finals

Victoria Azarenka, of Belarus, reacts after defeating Flavia Pennetta, of Italy, during the semifinals of the 2013 U.S. Open tennis tournament, Friday, Sept. 6, 2013, in New York. Photo: Associated Press/Darron Cummings

By Simon Evans

NEW YORK (Reuters) – Belarussian Victoria Azarenka reached her second straight U.S. Open final with a 6-4 6-2 win over Italy’s Flavia Pennetta on Friday.

Second seed Azarenka, who lost to Serena Williams in last year’s final, could get a chance for revenge if top-seeded Williams beats China’s Li Na in the Friday’s other semi-final.

“I’m so excited. It’s been a long road to the final. It’s an amazing feeling, to fight for the trophy,” said Azarenka, a former U.S. Open junior champion and mixed doubles winner.

Both players struggled to keep their serve on center court with 13 breaks of serve in the 18 games but Azarenka’s power was too much for the enterprising Pennetta, who returned from a serious wrist injury to reach her first grand slam semi-final.

There were five service breaks in a row before Azarenka, the Australian Open winner, held to win the set after an intense battle where the unseeded, 31-year-old Pennetta saved five set points.

The second set followed a similar pattern, with three broken serves before Azarenka turned up the power, holding to go up 3-1 in the set and then breaking Pennetta, ranked 83rd in the world, with a powerful backhand winner.

Azarenka, 24, also struggled to make her serve count though, offering a glimmer of hope to the 31-year-old Italian when she went wide with a return on break point.

But once again Pennetta was unable to hold, twice finding the net to hand Azarenka the chance to serve for the game and despite a brave effort from the Italian, who produced a sizzling return down the line in the final game, Azarenka sealed the win with a well-placed forehand.

Recent Headlines

in Local

Nebraska Attorney General Questions Death Penalty Repeal

Fresh
prison

Attorney General Doug Peterson is raising questions about the legality of a section of the death penalty repeal law passed by the legislature.

in Local

Crash Rates Highest for Teens

Fresh
accident

A new study finds almost two-thirds of people injured or killed in crashes involving a teen driver are people -other- than the teen behind the wheel.

in Local

Nebraska Lawmakers Override Governor Again

Fresh
nebraska-state-capital

State legislators have overriden Governor Pete Ricketts again to pave the way for youth brought into the country illegally to apply for Nebraska driver's licenses.

in Local

Minnesota Groups Supports Waters of the US Rule

Fresh
wetlands water

A final rule to clarify which water bodies fall under regulations of the Clean Water Act has been released by the EPA.

in Local

Small Town Study Finds Entrepreneurial Spirit

Fresh
10670121_10201674630426472_944226860140546029_n

A recent study released by the USDA Economic Research Service focused on towns that are losing population, and several in South Dakota and Nebraska were featured as towns struggling to hold residents.