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Azarenka close to becoming the highest-ranked Belorusian in history

Victoria Azarenka has reached the semifinals of the Mutua Madrid Open and needs just one more win to become the first Belarusian in WTA history to be ranked higher than No.5, where she stands now. She advanced to the semifinals with a 6-3 3-6 6-2 victory over Lucie Safarova, to whom she hadn’t lost a set before, in their five meetings.

Azarenka’s big obstacle will be Julia Goerges, who has come to the tournament with the big title win at Stuttgart, which she reinforced by beating world No.1 Caroline Wozniacki in the third round this week and then world No.21 Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova 6-4 6-2 in the quarterfinals, who is ranked six spots higher than Goerges.

Both Azarenka and Goerges are hot players at the moment. In this two month period, Azarenka has won 18 of 20 matches, including titles in Miami and Marbella, while the losses came only because of injuries (retirements in Indian Wells against Wozniacki and in Stuttgart against Goerges). As for Goerges, not long ago, in Charleston, she reached her first Premier quarterfinal, and now she will play her second straight Premier semifinal. (photos: © Neal Trousdale)

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11 thoughts on “Azarenka close to becoming the highest-ranked Belorusian in history

  1. Marine

    Hmm, this looks to be a good matchup. I am in Madrid at the moment and getting really tempted to go tomorrow.

  2. Omair

    yup agree with marija and gregoire….
    Marine dont miss the opportunity to go for the match….
    I ll also suggest you to go for the nadal federer match :)

  3. Helen

    I like Julia a lot but her winning streak stop here. Vika is very used to facing much more power than Julia can bring. The Belarusian battled Serena for 3 consecutive years at the Australian Open; then once at Miami and Wimbledon. Yes, she only won once but the youngster surely learned alot about the power game from Serena.

    Vika has tweeted that Caro is her BFF (best friend forever) so it's up to her to avenge her friend's losses to Julia. (what are friends for if they can't have your back?). Granted, Vika is also looking out for her own self-interests as that #4 ranking is just a victory away.

    Ironically, it's because of Vika's retirement against Julia in Stuttgart that enabled the German to move forward to face and defeat Caro. Also, it's noted that Vika was on the verge of defeating Julia for the first set before suffering the injury, so she's seen Julia's game first-hand and did well against it.

    One thing to wonder about though, I watched Vika play her 3 setter today, then not long afterwards she came back out to play doubles. How's her energy for tomorrow?

  4. Gregoire Gentil

    Wozniacki silent for more than two days on Twitter. As far as I can remember, it hasn't happened for months – even after Australian Open loss, she twitted rapidly.

    Anyway, go Vika7!!! Please avenge your bff… Great tennis in perspective. Plus the Federer/Nadal rivalry: go Fed though I don't believe it!

  5. Helen

    Correction: My previous comment should have read 'IN THE PAST, Vika has tweeted that Caro is her BFF.'

    Agree Gregoire, it's very odd that Caro hasn't tweeted anything after being defeated by Julia. Usually a player says something like "my opponent was too good today".

  6. Omair

    I agree vika was on the verge of defeating julia in stuggart but she didnt. SHe did retire due to an injury but but she didnt defeat julia. Being on the verge of defeating and being defeating are totally opposites and who knows what the 2nd and 3rd sets would have in store?????

    And yup vika has played serena for many times…. She is used to power game…. Lets see how the match turns out. I hope julia can make it to the 2nd final….

    As far as the 2nd semi final is concerned, i ll be routing for Li Na… Hope she can also make it to the finals….

    and yup caro should have said something…. She should have the sportsmanspirit…. but may be shes stopped tweeting and is seriously preparing for RG…. Who knows….

  7. Marine

    Marija, it was not worth it,far too expensive for my purse :-) and there are many great things to see in Madrid apart from tennis. Anyway, I was right in my predictions :-P. I wonder if Vika will go all the way in this one,too.

  8. Marine

    No wonder that she was mad. Roland Garros is nearing and she is aiming to win, no doubt. I bet she is now really hungry to avenge the loss to Goerges.

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