ISTANBUL: Serena Williams and her nearest rival Victoria Azarenka differed in quality of performance in taking first steps towards a much hoped-for meeting in Sunday’s final at the WTA Championships.
Williams crushed one of the few women to have beaten her in the last 15 months as she began her defence of the title with a speedily impressive win.
The world number one took little more than an hour to win 6-3, 6-1 against Angelique Kerber, the German who beat her in Cincinnati last year but who was now outplayed from the moment she dropped serve in her opening service game.
By contrast Azarenka, appeared uncertain and care-worn, was far from consistent, and might easily have lost the first set during her 7-6 (7/4), 6-2 survival against Sara Errani, the sixth seeded Italian.
The Belarussian found it hard to force the pace and confirmed the impression of poor health given during her disappointing performances in Beijing and Tokyo.
Published in The Express Tribune, October 24th, 2013.
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