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Adelaide International: Defending champion Swiatek beats Azarenka to meet Barty in semis

 
Adelaide, Jan 7 (IANS) Fifth seed and defending champion Iga Swiatek booked her place in the Adelaide International semifinals with a three-set 6-3, 2-6, 6-1 win over Victoria Azarenka, here on Friday.

Swiatek will meet World No.1 Ashleigh Barty in semis, who registered a powerful 6-3, 6-4 victory over former Australian Open champion Sofia Kenin after firing a career-best 17 aces in the match.

Tactical adjustments and her signature competitive instincts enabled No.27-ranked Azarenka to become the first player to win a set from Swiatek in Adelaide. However, the 20-year-old eventually pulled away in the third set as an ailing Azarenka's movement became visibly hampered, and maintains her eight-match winning streak in the South Australian capital.

Azarenka would later withdraw from her doubles semifinal with a right leg injury, handing No.3 seeds Darija Jurak Schreiber and Andreja Klepac a walkover into the final.

After winning the match, Swiatek said, "Winning against such an experienced player is still pretty new for me," she said after the match. "That was my third match where I actually could show what I practiced during pre-season. That's really satisfying because I had this problem last year where I was practicing really great and I felt like I could do more on matches. This time it's different. It's actually going my way, so I'm pretty happy about that."

--IANS

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