(January 3, 2013) In a battle of powerful groundstrokes, Serena Williams defeated fellow American Sloane Stephens 6-4, 6-3 to gain the semifinals at the Brisbane International on Thursday. Williams will meet No. 1 Victoria Azarenka for a place in the final. The Belarusian topped Kazakh qualifier Ksenia Pervak 6-1, 6-0.
Williams pegged her 19-year-old opponent as having great potential “the best in the world one day,” Williams said.
“She definitely pushed me. I’ve always said she’s a really good player. You have to expect that going up against what I would consider a top player.”
“I definitely want to thank (Sloane Stephens) for giving me such a great match, because I’m going up against another good player, great player, tomorrow, so I have to make sure I’m ready.”
Azarenka is looking forward to the match-up against Williams.”Well, it’s a tough match, there is no question about it. I’m looking forward to it. It’s going to be a great test for the Australian Open.” Williams holds