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Williams was undeterred and raced to the finish line. She won 28 of 33 points on her serve and had a 40-2 advantage in winners while losing only 16 points.
"I had to win this match," Williams said. "So I told myself, ‘Serena, be focused today.’"
The result extended her career-best winning streak to 30 consecutive matches. She improved to 20-3 in major semifinals, and she’s 6-0 against Errani.
"What she did today is unbelievable," Errani said. "She’s very strong. She’s an unbelievable player. She had great day."
Sharapova, who lost her opening set in the quarterfinals 6-0, started slowly again against Azarenka. Sharapova double-faulted twice in the first game and was broken at love.
But this time she quickly righted herself, temporarily finding the range with her serve and cracking ferocious returns. She won 22 of the final 26 points in the first set and closed it out with an ace.
"The serve is definitely something that you never know what to expect," Azarenka said.
Then Sharapova began to misfire while Azarenka found her timing. Consistently stepping into the court and smacking groundstrokes close to the baseline, Azarenka swept the final four games of the second set to even the match.
Next came rain, and when the match resumed both players struggled to find any rhythm. The tennis was louder than the crowd in the third set when subdued fans quietly endured a flurry of errors — forced and unforced — by the two big hitters.
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