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US Open: Victoria Azarenka hopes she, Serena Williams inspire mothers

She and Williams became the first set of mothers to reach the semifinals of the same Grand Slam tournament. There were nine mothers in the field.

By: AP |
Updated: September 11, 2020 3:24:28 pm
Victoria AzarenkaVictoria Azarenka of Belarus, right, taps rackets with Serena Williams of the United States after defeating her in the women's singles semifinals match on day eleven of the 2020 U.S. Open tennis tournament at USTA Billie Jean King National Tennis Center. (Robert Deutsch-USA TODAY Sports)

Victoria Azarenka hopes the performance of mothers like herself and Serena Williams will inspire women to chase their dreams.

Azarenka rallied to beat Williams 1-6, 6-3, 6-3 and advance to the U.S. Open final, where she will bid for her third major title.

She and Williams became the first set of mothers to reach the semifinals of the same Grand Slam tournament. There were nine mothers in the field.

Azarenka, who gave birth to a son in 2016, says being a parent is the most important thing in her life but adds that “I’m a tennis player on the court, I’m a fighter on the court.”

She adds that “being a parent is the toughest thing. So once you can balance that, you can do anything.”

Victoria Azarenka of Belarus, US Open Victoria Azarenka of Belarus reacts after defeating Serena Williams of the United States in the women’s singles semifinals match on day eleven of the 2020 U.S. Open tennis tournament at USTA Billie Jean King National Tennis Center. (Robert Deutsch-USA TODAY Sports)

Azarenka ended Williams’ latest bid for a record-tying 24th Grand Slam singles title.

Azarenka, a two-time Grand Slam champion, advanced to her first major final in seven years and will play 2018 U.S. Open champion Naomi Osaka on Saturday.

They were supposed to meet in the final of the Western & Southern Open, played this year in Flushing Meadows immediately before the U.S. Open, but Osaka withdraw because of a hamstring injury.

Williams appeared she would reach her third straight U.S. Open final easily after rolling through the first set. But Azarenka won five straight games to close out the second set and surge to a 3-0 lead in the third, going on to beat Williams for the first time in their 11 Grand Slam meetings.

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