• Western & Southern Open

Williams sets up Azarenka final

ESPN staff
August 18, 2013
Serena Williams clinched the Emirates Airline US Open Series with victory over Li Na © Getty Images

Serena Williams will be making her first career appearance in the Western & Southern Open final after ousting defending champion Li Na 7-5 7-5.

Williams, seeking her ninth title of the year, recovered from set point down to win the first set and advanced when Li double-faulted on match point. It took Williams's record to 60 wins and three defeats this season.

"I really would not have predicted myself being in the finals here at all, so it's definitely pretty exciting for me," said Williams, who clinched the Emirates Airline US Open Series women's title with the win and can earn a £640,000 bonus if she wins the US Open, which gets underway on August 26.

"It was really unexpected for me, too," Williams added. "I came in here not playing my best, and now I'm in the final. It's just almost weird."

Williams will play Victoria Azarenka, the No. 2 seed, in Sunday's final. Azarenka beat Jelena Jankovic 4-6 6-2 6-3 in a semifinal that featured 23 service breaks in 27 games.

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