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Two slots away from her favorite numero-uno position, second-seeded Serena Williams of USA will take on World No. 36 Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova on Saturday to claim her 47th career title. With a kind of form Serena has been enjoying at the moment, it would take more than just a good effort from the twenty one year old Pavlyuchenkova to stop the surging Serena.
Serena walked into the Brisbane International final on Friday, when Victoria Azarenka pulled out of their semi-final encounter with a toe injury. Well, Serena wouldn’t have wanted it in that way but she must be focusing on the final now.
After withdrawing from the tournament, Azarenka told the press, "It's a right toe infection - it's been there for about 10 days and it's been getting worse a little bit. I had to take action on it, which I did yesterday - it was a minor surgery, I had to take something out of my toe. And unfortunately I didn't have enough time to recover to be able to play the semifinals today." Obviously, Azarenka does not want to take any chances as Australian Open is coming up.
On the other hand, Williams said, "I like Vika. I think she's a great player. I love playing her. It sucks. I had that toe problem just a couple of weeks ago and it's painful - God, it's so painful. Doesn't sound painful, but it is. You can't walk with that. I hope she gets better fast. I'm definitely doing enough to prepare and be ready. I feel like even though I didn't play a match tonight I played some really good matches here. It's just like a regular tournament for me. It's going to be fine."
On the other hand, Serena’s opponent Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova ended the fairy-tale run of Ukrainian Lesia Tsurenko, 4-6 6-1 6-2 to come this far in the tournament. After the match, elated Pavlyuchenkova asserted, "I'm really pleased with how I came back and with what I've done this week. I'm really happy to be in the final of my first tournament of the year here in Brisbane."
The Russian is playing in her fifth WTA final and has a 3-1 win-loss record. She is playing in her maiden final at a WTA Premier-level event. Serena Williams has claimed a record 46 WTA titles and has a staggering 51-2 win-loss record since the last April.
When asked about this encounter with Serena, the Russian said, "What can I say about Serena? There's so much to say - she's just a great champion. There's some chance, but with her power and the way she can serve, it will be difficult. But I'll try to go out there and win - all I can do is just go out there and fight and we'll see what happens."
This will a fourth-meeting between these two and Serena apparently leads with 3-0 against the Russian. Last time they took on each other in Madrid last season, where the American topped Pavlyuchenkova in straight sets.
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