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Victoria Azarenka scrapes past Jelena Jankovic to progress into Cincinnati Final

By Akshay Kohli    + Follow

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Keywords: Western and Southern Financial Group Masters | Jelena-Jankovic | Victoria-Azarenka
Victoria Azarenka scrapes past Jelena Jankovic to progress into Cincinnati Final
World No.2 Victoria Azarenka of Belarus edged past Former Champion Jelena Jankovic in three extremely peculiar sets to reach the finals of the Western & Southern Open. It was a match where the servers did not have their way at all with the returners neutralizing points well. To find out how many breaks of serves were exchanged in this match, read the article to be shocked!

Well when breaks of serves become holds and holds become breaks, you can predict that the match somewhat a funny yet competitive one. The Semifinal clash at the Western & Southern Open between World No.2 Victoria Azarenka and Former Champion Jelena Jankovic proved to be a one like that with as many as 23 breaks of serves coming just one match! Azarenka defeated Jankovic 4-6, 6-2, 6-3 in just over 2 hours to book a place in the Finals where she faces World No.1 Serena Williams.

An interesting thing to this match was that in all three sets there was one player who held serve with the other winning all her games with breaks. The First Set saw 9 breaks followed by 6 breaks in Second Set and 8 breaks in the Decider. Jankovic held her serve once in the Opening Set with Azarenka holding her serve twice in the Second Set and one in the Third Set to move into the Finals.

A fifth break of the Azarenka serve assured Jankovic the Opening Set as the Serb returned extremely well to outplay the World No.2. The set was all about breaks with 9 out of 10 games played being breaks of serves. With servers visibly struggling, it was Jankovic's hold in the Seventh game that made the difference. With 9 winners and 1 ace, Jankovic took the First Set in 44 minutes after capitalizing on the 20 unforced errors and 3 double faults from the Azarenka racquet. The Serb used her backhand down the line quite a lot in this set and with that opened up the court or managed hitting outright winners.

Azarenka took the Second Set after holding her serve twice in the Set. With both players still struggling to find their groove on serves, it was Jankovic's turn this time around to not hold her serve even once. With Azarenka holding her serve two times, it was her consistency that helped her exert a lot of pressure on the Serb. With a high first serve percentage (72%), Azarenka hit 7 winners and converted 4/5 chances on the Jankovic serve to send the match into a Third Set. The Serb was on the more erratic one in this set, hitting 3 double faults and 13 unforced errors.

Click here to go through Azarenka’s victory Jankovic!

The Final Set started with both players exchanging breaks of serves in the beginning with Azarenka leading 2-1 up a break. But a hold saw Azarenka further affirm her authority over the match as Jankovic looked dejected at missing out on a number of opportunities to come back into the Final Set and test the Belarusian. With 5 breaks going in favor of the World No.2 in the Final Set, it was Jankovic who fought till the very end but failed to come back, falling behind after taking the Opening Set. Azarenka was the aggressive one in the Deciding Set and kept Jankovic on the back foot right from the world go to finally set up a mouth watering clash with Williams.

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US Open, Men Singles  Final
Kei Nishikori (JPN) 0 3 3 3
Marin Cilic (CRO) Winner 3 6 6 6
Nishikori - Cilic    3 - 6    3 - 6    3 - 6   
Served By: M Cilic Won By: Cilic
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