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“She’s one of the best players in the world and one of the toughest opponents to play against so we’ll see, but as I said it’s going to be a different story,” Azarenka said.
Williams held off the tenacious Hradecka’s seven early aces in the first set that she won in a tiebreaker. She then broke the Czech three times in the second to cruise to her 12th consecutive win on clay this season.
“She just did everything really well and I was able to come through in the tiebreaker,” said Williams. “After that I was able to relax, to make less errors and make more shots and be more aware out there.”
The 105th-ranked Hradecka had upset defending champion Petra Kvitova and U.S. Open winner Sam Stosur to reach the semifinals.
Azarenka was in good form and had little trouble beating Radwanska for the sixth straight time. She hit a deep return to set up a slam and break her Polish opponent’s first service game. She went on to hit 14 winners and held for love to wrap up the first set. The players traded a pair of breaks in the second set before Azarenka, the runner-up last year, won a decisive third break with a crosscourt return.
“(Radwanska and I) keep meeting each other,” said the Belarusian. “I’m glad to win today. The score maybe wasn’t so close, but it was a good match.”
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