• WTA

Azarenka blasts past Wickmayer

ESPN staff
February 17, 2012
Victoria Azarenka was far too powerful for Yanina Wickmayer © Getty Images
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World No. 1 Victoria Azarenka continues to look completely at ease in her new role as the WTA's leading player, cruising into the Qatar Total Open semi-finals on Friday.

Azarenka had only dropped five games in her opening two matches going into her quarter-final with Yanina Wickmayer, and she conceded just four more in a comprehensive 6-0 6-4 victory.

Playing with pure aggression when asked to return, Azarenka did not allow Wickmayer to win a single point on her second serve in a first set that lasted 20 minutes. Three break chances were all converted at the first time of asking, with Wickmayer limited to a total of seven points in six games.

Wickmayer upped her game in the second set and broke serve twice, on each occasion after the Australian Open champion had edged ahead. However, Azarenka has not suffered the hiccup other first-time major winners have and she broke for the third time on the spin to lead 5-4 and closed out the match with a love hold.

Azarenka will now play fourth seed Agnieszka Radwanska, who crushed Christina McHale 6-1 6-1.

On the other side of the draw, Sam Stosur advanced to the last four after a tough battle with Monica Niculescu. The third seed needed the best part of two hours on court before registering a 6-2 2-6 6-3 victory over her Romanian counterpart. Her next opponent is Marion Bartoli, conqueror of Lucie Safarova.

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