Azarenka puts out Clijster’s fire!

Victoria Azarenka reached the semi final of the Aegon International at Eastbourne with a victory over Kim Clijsters 7-6, 6-4.

Clijsters had looked to be on a devastating run in her earlier matches as she returned to the grass courts after a long absence, but after losing the first set in a close tie breaker she appeared to lose her focus.

Azarenka who is suffering with ‘Nadal knees’ must be happy that the match only lasted for 2 sets. She was in obvious pain at 4-4 in the final set, and had she lost it could have been another painful exit for the 20 year old. 

She will meet Marion Bartoli in the semi final who survived a marathon against Spanish No.1 María José Martínez Sánchez, 57 64 76(5). Azarenka has won both of the pair’s previous meetings in straight sets.

Bartoli is now in her fourth straight semifinal at this tournament, but she has never been beyond that. She lost in the 2007 semis to Justine Henin, the 2008 semis to Agnieszka Radwanska and the 2009 semis to Virginie Razzano.

The on-paper favorite since the Top 2 seeds fell in the first round, No.3 seed Samantha Stosur, was edged in the first set but came roaring back to beat British wildcard Elena Baltacha in three, 67(5) 61 60. Standing in the way of Stosur and her first grass court final will be qualifier Ekaterina Makarova, who beat Svetlana Kuznetsova, a wildcard here this week, 64 75.


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