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Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Azarenka makes light of change of court


Victoria Azarenka shrugged off an unusual change of courts to crush Tamira Paszek 6-3, 6-1 and reach the Wimbledon semi-finals for the first time.

The pair begun their match on Court One but after just one game they both agreed conditions were too slippery and as the referees pondered what to do, drizzle came down to make the decision for them.

In a largely unprecedented move, organisers decided to switch the match to Centre Court given the roof had prevented Sabine Lisicki and Maria Sharapova's victories from being unduly affected by the weather.

The fourth seed from Belarus, who changed from leggings to a skirt after switching courts, then overwhelmed her Austrian opponent and clinched victory on her second match point.


She will play Czech eighth seed Petra Kvitova in the last four, with fifth seed Sharapova taking on wildcard Lisicki in the other semi-final.

"It was very difficult to wait the whole day and keep focus the whole day," Azarenka said in a televised interview having hung around in the locker room as Kvitova's Court One match with Tsvetana Pironkova was delayed by rain.

"I'm glad we managed to play today. It's my mum's birthday today so I wanted to give her a good gift."

Azarenka, in good form this year but entering her first grand slam semi-final, has caused commotion at Wimbledon because of the extreme wailing noise she makes when striking the ball.


Despite her idiosyncrasies, she is seeded higher than fifth seed Russian Sharapova and looks the former winner's biggest threat for the title.

Austria's Paszek, who beat sixth seed Francesca Schiavone in a long three-setter in the third round, looked overawed from the start and the result was never really in doubt.

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