At the Southern California Open being played in Carlsbad this week, top seed Victoria Azarenka had a bye and then won her next two rounds in straights for the loss of just eight games on her route to the semis. Her opponent was 7th seed and 17th ranked Ana Ivanovic who battled to get past last week’s winner of the Bank of the West Classic, Dominika Cibulkova, in three; won her second round match in straights and then fought of the challenge of 4th seed Roberta Vinci in the quarters in three. Ivanovic got the match started and was broken immediately; and Azarenka went on to take the set 6-0, even though many games went to deuce and advantage. Roles reversed at the start of the second set as Ivanovic took the first two games before Azarenka got on the scoreboard. In a much tighter battle the Serb took the set 6-4, to force a decider. The third set went to Azarenka 6-3, who moved into the final after a really tough match that lasted six minutes less than two hours.
In the second semi final the unseeded French wildcard, Virginie Razzano, well known for upsetting some of the tour’s top players, took on 5th seeded Aussie wildcard, Sam Stosur. Razzano took out Svetlana Kuznetsova in straights in the first round, then disposed of 8th seed Carla Suarez Navarro also in straights in the second round and then, in the quarters, got the better of 3rd seeded Petra Kvitova in thrilling three setter 6-7 7-5 7-6. “It was a great match,” Razzano said in her post match interview. Stosur won her first two matches in straights before taking out the 2nd seed, Agnieszka Radwanska, in three sets in the quarters. The players got to a tie breaker in the first exciting set, which the Aussie took 7-2. Stosur then put an end to Razzano’s great run when she took the second set 6-3 to book her place in the final.
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