Originally posted on Fox Sports  |  Last updated 1/24/13
For a moment it seemed that Sloane Stephens was heading for a replay of her previous match -- losing the first set, seeing her opponent pull up at the start of the second with some sort of injury and then ... But she could not quite reproduce the full scenario of her upset against Serena Williams. Victoria Azarenka, playing like the world No. 1 for most of the match until, in her words, "I almost did the choke of the year" went through to the final by 6-1, 6-4. The scoreline, however, tells nothing of the drama of the last two games. Stephens, who has been pushing Azarenka on several occasions without being able to win many games, broke the Belarussian for the third time in the second set after Azarenka had missed five match points. Stephens' hitting from the baseline had finally clicked into the rhythm that had given Serena so much trouble and Azarenka suddenly found herself struggling to handle it. She netted a backhand on the first match point; hit a forehand long on the secon...
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