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Victoria Azarenka, of Belarus, returns a shot to Victoria Azarenka, of Belarus, during the quarterfinals of the 2013 U.S. Open tennis tournament, Tuesday, Sept. 3, 2013, in New York. (AP Photo/Julio Cortez)
Azarenka rallies to 3-set US Open win vs Ivanovic
Tennis » Open’s No. 2 seed needs more than 2 hours to advance.
First Published Sep 03 2013 11:57 am • Last Updated Sep 03 2013 11:41 pm

New York • Victoria Azarenka refused to complain about playing her fourth-round U.S. Open match a day later than the rest of her half of the draw.

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She won’t wallow in misfortune, and that’s why Azarenka is still alive in the quarterfinals after dropping the first set in two straight matches. The second-seeded Belarusian rallied to beat Ana Ivanovic 4-6, 6-3, 6-4 on Tuesday.

"I’m a fighter at heart," she said. "I never, never give up. Whatever the score is, I’m going to try to do my best because there is always an opportunity. There is always a way. You just have to make up your mind and try to find that way."

Ivanovic, the 2008 French Open champ, was whipping forehand winners in the first set. But then her serve deserted her, as it has before, and the 13th-seeded Serb was broken in nine of her last 11 service games.

"This was the big difference because I felt like I could break her, but it was very frustrating that I was losing my serve constantly," said Ivanovic, who had eight double-faults.


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Indeed, Azarenka wasn’t much better, with nine double-faults of her own.

Unable to serve out the match at 5-3 in the third set, Azarenka finally clinched the victory on her fourth match point. On Wednesday, she’ll face unseeded Daniela Hantuchova, who played her fourth-round match Monday.

The meeting between Azarenka and Ivanovic was the only one of four women’s matches that day to be postponed to Tuesday because of rain. Asked if anything could have been done differently to keep everybody on the same schedule, Azarenka wouldn’t bite. She just smiled and said, "Mother Nature could have done something."

A few hours after Azarenka made the quarterfinals, the first woman reached the semis. Fifth-seeded Li Na beat No. 24-seeded Ekaterina Makarova 6-4, 6-7 (5), 6-2 in 2 hours, 20 minutes.

Li, the 2011 French Open champ, was up a break three times in the second set, then led 3-0 in the tiebreaker, but couldn’t close the victory. From 2-2 in the third, though, she won four straight games to reach her first U.S. Open semifinal.

Li joked that she’d lie down with a bag of chips to watch the night match that will determine her next opponent. No. 1 Serena Williams takes on 18th-seeded Carla Suarez Navarro.

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