In the last match on Friday at the year end WTA championships in Istanbul, Victoria Azarenka and Na Li took to the court to battle for the last place in the quarter finals. This match of power tennis played mostly from the baseline was in complete contrast the previous match between Agnieszka Radwanska and Sara Errani, who both have delicate drop shots and immaculate net play. In the first set Li went 2-0 up before Azarenka got on the scoreboard at 1-2. Games then went with serve until the 9th game, when Li managed to break Azarenka to lead 5-4 but, when serving for the set, Li hit two double faults to cede the game to her opponent, for 5-5. The next two games again went with serve, leading to a tie break, which Azarenka took 7-5. The second set started with each player breaking the other before Li lost the plot and allowed Azarenka to take the next four games in a row. At 1-5 down, Li held for 2-5 and broke Azarenka when she served for the set, to trail 3-5, but her last gasp effort was to no avail, as Azarenka made no mistake when she served and took the set 6-3 in a largely uninspiring match where neither player was at their best; and which lasted one hour and thirty nine minutes.
Azarenka will face Maria Sharapova in the semis; and is now assured of ending the year in the number one spot.
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