MELBOURNE, Jan. 23 (Xinhua) -- Defending champion Victoria Azarenka overcame early jitters to beat Svetlana Kuznetsova 7-5, 6-1 here on Wednesday and advance to the Australian Open semifinals.
After dropping serve in a long fourth game which went to deuce 10 times, Azarenka recovered to dominate the rest of match against unseeded Kuznetsova, a two-time Grand Slam winner who was floating dangerously in the draw with a No.75 ranking as she recovers from a knee injury.
Azarenka broke Kuznetsova's serve in the 11th game of the one hour 17 minutes match and then held her own service in the next game to win her third set point when Kuznetsova netted a backhand.
"I'm just glad I could produce my good tennis when it was needed." said Azarenka.
Azarenka will meet 19-year-old American Sloane Stephens, who stunned Serena Williams 3-6, 7-5, 6-4.