Azarenka primed for another tilt at nemesis Williams

BRISBANE Thu Jan 3, 2013 5:34pm IST

Victoria Azarenka of Belarus hits a return to Ksenia Pervak of Kazakhstan during their women's singles match at the Brisbane International tennis tournament January 3, 2013. REUTERS/Daniel Munoz

Victoria Azarenka of Belarus hits a return to Ksenia Pervak of Kazakhstan during their women's singles match at the Brisbane International tennis tournament January 3, 2013.

Credit: Reuters/Daniel Munoz

BRISBANE (Reuters) - Victoria Azarenka goes into her Brisbane International semi-final against Serena Williams on Friday believing that selfishness is the key to ending four years of disappointment against her nemesis.

The world No. 1 from Belarus has a galling 1-11 win-loss record against Williams and is without a victory over the 31-year-old American since 2009.

Azarenka is bidding to snap a nine-match losing streak against the woman widely perceived to be the best player in the world despite being officially rated third.

"Serena is a tough match, there is no question about it," Azarenka said.

"One more chance for us to meet, and it's going to be a great test for the Australian Open.

"I'm not looking for easy matches. The tougher it is the more exciting for me it's going to be, so I'm quite happy with that. I have learned something every time against her. It's a matter of getting it all together and trying to execute it in the right way."

Azarenka was reluctant to discuss Williams's strengths.

"It's obvious she has one of the best serves on tour," Azarenka said.

"But I'm not going to be thinking about how well she serves. My job is to try to put the ball back, you know, then I'll try to play my game.

"I'm there to win the match, not to end somebody's streaks and not to stop somebody from doing something. I'm just focused on myself, and that's how I always am."

The other semi-final pits Anastasia Pavlyuchenko against Lesia Tsurenko after their giant-killing runs continued with victories over fourth-seeded Angelique Kerber and the experienced Daniela Hantuchova. (Editing by Ed Osmond)

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