Melbourne, Jan 24: Defending champion Victoria Azarenka overcame American teenager Sloane Stephens here Thursday to meet Li Na of China in the women’s singles final of the Australian Open.
The 19-year-old Stephens saved five match points before the first-seeded Belarusian took the 6-1, 6-4 semifinal victory in one hour and 41 minutes, reports Xinhua.
Azarenka broke Stephens in the first game and again in the fifth and seventh to wrap up the first set in 33 minutes.
Stephens managed two service breaks in the second set but failed to capitalise on them as Azarenka served out the match.
The top seed left the court for medical treatment on a shoulder problem at 5-4.
Azarenka will Saturday defend her only Grand Slam title against sixth-seeded Li Na, who stunned Russian Maria Sharapova to reach her second Australian Open final in three years.