Nuevo Leon (Mexico): Victoria Azarenka used her superior serving and punishing groundstrokes here Saturday to upset top seed Angelique Kerber 6-4, 4-6, 6-1 and advance to Sunday’s final of the Monterrey Open tennis tournament against Garbine Muguruza.
In a battle of former World No.1s the momentum shifted in the Belarusian’s favour early in the third set when Kerber committed two double faults in a careless service game to hand Azarenka a 2-0 lead. Azarenka seized the opportunity, consolidating the break in the next game before cruising to the finish line to reach her first final in more than three years.
“I’m very pleased with how I played today (Saturday),” Azarenka said in an on-court interview on a warm night. “It was an important match and to see how I can do under pressure against a top player. I haven’t been playing very many tournaments, so it is indeed a good feeling to have come through. I haven’t won many of those in the last couple years so it’s good that I’m able to turn it around and pick up my level,” added Azarenka.
Earlier, in the day second seed Muguruza eased past Slovak Magdalena Rybarikova 6-2, 6-3 to book her ticket to the final to seal her place in the summit clash. Spaniard Muguruza did not face a single breakpoint on her serve and was always in control of the match.
Azarenka came out the victor in her only previous meeting with Spaniard Muguruza, a hard-fought 7-6(6), 7-6(4) win on the hard courts in Miami in 2016.