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SPORTS
26 Jan 2012
VICTORA AZARENKA BEATS KIM CLIJSTERS TO MAKE AUSTRALIAN OPEN FINAL

Victoria Azarenka is through to the final of the Australian Open after overcoming a battling Kim Clijsters 6-4 1-6 6-3 in a thrilling see-saw battle.

The Belarussian, who will overtake Caroline Wozniacki as world number one if she wins her first Grand Slam final in Melbourne, wobbled in the second set but recovered strongly in the decider.

Defending champion Clijsters, 28, was playing in her last Australian Open.

Azarenka will meet the winner of Maria Sharapova and Petra Kvitova.

The third-seeded Azarenka, 22, certainly did not have it all her own way during a match which lasted two hours and 12 minutes.

At times she was outplayed by Clijsters, who displayed flashes of the brilliance which have made her such a formidable opponent for so many years.

But the Belgian, who announced before the tournament started that this was to be her Melbourne swansong, was horribly inconsistent and could not come up with the knockout blow when Azarenka was on the ropes.

A perfect example of this came during the third set when Clijsters failed to hold after breaking Azarenka to get back on serve at 3-4.

Either Wimbledon champion Petra Kvitova or 2008 Australian Open champion Maria Sharapova await Azarenka in Saturday's final, with the winner also taking the top spot in the world rankings.

Source: bbc.co.uk

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