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02nd-Apr-2016

Azarenka to face Kuznetsova in Miami Open final

By Agency


When Serena Williams made an early exit at the Miami Open, the next generation of women's tennis wasn't quite ready to fill the void.
Instead it will be former champions Svetlana Kuznetsova and Victoria Azarenka in the final Saturday.
Eight-time champion Williams was beaten by Kuznetsova in the fourth round, and then the Russian just kept winning. In the semifinals Thursday, she erased 12 of the 14 break points she faced in a 7-5, 6-3 victory over Timea Bacsinszky.
Kuznetsova, 30, is back in the final 10 years after she won the tournament.
"It means I've been a lot of times out here in front of you guys," she told the crowd with a laugh.
Kuznetsova hadn't enjoyed much success at Key Biscayne in recent years, but she won four consecutive three-setters to reach the semifinals. At No. 19, she is the lowest-ranked women's finalist in the event since No. 38 Kim Clijsters earned the 2005 championship.
"I'm happy I could hang in there," Kuznetsova said. "I haven't been feeling my best, but I've been fighting with every ball and trying to run as much as I could."
Azarenka advanced by beating No. 2-seeded Angelique Kerber, 6-2, 7-5. Azarenka, who won the tournament in 2009 and 2011, has yet to drop a set in this year's tourney and is bidding to become only the third woman to win Indian Wells and Key Biscayne in the same year.
Against Kerber, Azarenka broke serve seven times, hit 29 winners and committed only 16 unforced errors.
"I stayed very strong in the end," Azarenka said. "She's such an amazing player. She got to so many balls; sometimes I just had to watch them. But I'm glad I kept pushing."