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By Ajay Tyagi
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World No 1 Belarussian Victoria Azarenka downs German Angelique Kerber in straight sets to reach the final of Indian Wells Open for the first time in her career. Azarenka looked in good touch since the start of the match and continued with it whole through out the match. Kerber played well in patches but failed to do it on consistent basis. Azarenka now awaits the winner of Ivanovic and Sharapova match in the final.
A love service hold from the top-seed this time and she puts all the pressure back on the German Kerber, who needs to hold on to her serve in the next game - to stay alive in this duel. Time is running out quickly for the German here.
Azarenka breaks! And, the top-seed once again breaks and stays ahead at this crucial stage of the second-set. Azarenka is two games away from winning this duel. Its 3-4, second-set.
And the trend of trading breaks sets in! Kerber breaks Azarenka on love and equalizes the proceedings at 3-3, second-set. Kerber hammers a forehand winner down the line and then extracts two errors from the top-seed.
Azarenka makes up for the concentration lapse in the last game by breaking back the German to keep her nose in front. Its 3-2, second-set. The World No. 1 does well with her precision-oriented shots.
Kerber breaks back! The German re-affirms her position in the second-set by breaking back the top-seed. Azarenka commits two quick errors and finds herself in a spot of bother. Finally, the top-seed sends a forehand long and its 2-2, second-set.
Kerber does halt the surge of World No. 1 by holding on to her serve this time and gets on board in the second-set. Its 1-2, second-set. Azarenka commits two quick errors in this game and makes it easier for the German.
Azarenka holds on to an easy service game this time and takes her lead to 2-0 in the second-set. The World No. 1 smacks a cross-court backhand winner and then rest is done by her probing serve.
And, that's fourth consecutive game for the World No. 1 and she takes the momentum of the first set into second to continues her dominance. Azarenka fares really well in two quick rallies and then extracts errors from Kerber to get an early breakthrough in the second-set. Its 0-1, second-set.
With this Azarenka wins the third straight game and clinches the first set. The World No. 1 claimed the first set in 48 minutes. After losing a game on her serve, the top-seeded geared up and opted for a perfect counter-attack. Azarenka mustered 76% points on her first serve with the help of 15 winners and converted 2 out of 4 break-points. The Belarusian was duly benefited from Kerber's 11 unforced errors.
Azarenka breaks! Here comes the break for the World No. 1 - just at the right time and now she will serve to go one set up in this opening semi-final match. Kerber commits two errors and opens up the floodgates and then messes up with her serve to gift away the break to the World No. 1. Its 5-4, first set.
An easy hold from Azarenka and she keeps the proceedings even at 4-4, first set. The World No. 1 has not lost a match in the new season so far.
And, the German continues her defiance. This time again Kerber faces a break-point, but she fires a big serve in the middle and then fares really well in two quick rallies. Its 4-3, first set. Kerber stays ahead and she is standing up for the task here.
An easy hold for the World No. 1 this time. Azarenka smacks a cross-court backhand winner and then extracts two errors fro the German to hold on to her service game. Its 3-3, first set.
Kerber stands firm against the counter-attack of Azarenka and gets her nose in front. Azarenka forces two errors on Kerber, but the German finally does the job with the help of her probing serve. Its 3-2, first set.
Kerber breaks back! The German keeps coming back at the World No. 1 and strikes back to earn the equalizer and now she keeps the proceedings even at 2-2, first set. Azarenka comes up with two exquisite winners to save a couple of break-points, but then she commits two ill-timed unforced errors - to find herself in a tricky situation. Finally, Kerber strikes!
Kerber gets on board! The German sheds the initial jitters in this game and serves well to get on board. Its 1-2, first set. Azarenka leads with a break of serve.
An easy hold for Azarenka and she does not waste much time to hold on to her service game. Azarenka takes her lead to 2-0 in the first set. The World No. 1 is serving beautifully here.
Azarenka makes the perfect start to the match, as she breaks Kerber in the opening game of the match - and gets on board in style. Initial jitters do the damage for Kerber, as she commits two quick errors and gifts away an easy break to the Belarusian. Its 0-1, first set.
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