Home' Trinidad and Tobago Guardian : September 7th 2013 Contents A55
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NEW YORK---Serena Williams was cruising
along in the US Open semifinals, serving up
another bagel, when, out of nowhere, a com-
petitive tennis match broke out.
Didn t last long.
The defending champion won the first seven
games of yesterday s match, then actually fell
down a break early in the second set, before
quickly regaining it on the way to a 6-0, 6-
3 victory over fifth-seeded Li Na.
The day s only drama came in the second-
to-last game---an affair that went eight deuces
and lasted 13 minutes, 49 seconds. Li saved
six match points, but it only delayed the
inevitable. Williams dropped two points in the
next game, but ended it and let out a long,
celebratory scream after a 107 mph service
"It got tough at the end. I got a little nervous,
but I was able to close it out finally," Williams
The victory set up a rematch of last year s
final against Victoria Azarenka, who beat 83rd-
ranked Flavia Pennetta 6-4, 6-2 in the earlier
The first set of the Williams match marked
the third straight set the No. 1 seed won at
love, and when she held serve to open the sec-
ond, she had won her 24th straight game of
the tournament, dating to her match last Sun-
day against Sloane Stephens.
Nothing lasts forever, of course, though
Williams is extending her string of dominance
in the women s game deep into a second
Tomorrow s match will mark her 21st Grand
Slam final. She stands one win away from
capturing her fifth US Open title and 17th
major trophy. This will be the first time the
same two women have met in back-to-back
finals at Flushing Meadows since it was
Williams against her sister, Venus, in 2001-
02. It will also mark the first 1 vs 2 final at
the US Open since 2003, when No 2 Justine
Henin beat No 1 Kim Clijsters.
Azarenka lost to Williams in a tense three-
setter last year. But just last month, she beat
Williams in a third-set tiebreaker in the final
of a tune-up tournament in Cincinnati.
"I know her strengths, she knows my
strengths," Azarenka said. "That s what it s all
about, about those turning points, who wants
it more, who s willing to go for it more. It s
a bunch of combinations."
Williams took a brief break then turned
around to play in the semifinals of the doubles
with her sister. She is trying to make the finals
of the singles and the doubles at the same
Grand Slam for the first time since last year
For her match against Li, Williams wore
pink shoes embroidered with tiny hearts on
the heels, each of them with a number--- 99,
02, 08, 12---marking each year she hoisted
the trophy in Queens.
She s showing every sign she ll need to add
another heart , and Azarenka is the only one
standing in the way.
"We always have really good matches. I look
forward to it," Williams said. "It s great to get
to another final. She s a great player and she
lifts her game when it really counts."
Azarenka, the 2012 and 2013 Australian Open
champion, is trying to become the first woman
to win the majors in Melbourne and New York
in the same year since Martina Hingis in 1997.
If yesterday s proceedings on a cool, breezy
day in Arthur Ashe Stadium were any indi-
cation, Azarenka has some work to do.
Hours before Williams overpowered Li, the
2011 French Open champion and one of the
few players with the power to hang on the
court with the world s No 1, Azarenka won a
push-fest against Pennetta. She won despite
serving six double-faults as part of her 25
unforced errors, against only 15 winners.
There were only five service holds over 18
games, though Azarenka got four of them.
"It was a little bit tricky," Azarenka said. "I
couldn t find my rhythm at the beginning. I
felt I was rushing too much. I couldn t really
put the ball in play. It s good I stayed tough,
played well in the return game at important
In the late match, Li only hit eight winners
against Williams---evidence of how the world s
top player can keep anyone, even some of the
biggest hitters, off balance.
Williams also served four aces and hit 19
winners of her own---15 of which came in the
second set, after Li briefly made things com-
up final with
Serena Williams reacts after a point against Li Na, of China, during the semifinals of the US
Open tennis tournament, yesterday in New York. Williams won 6-0, 6-3. AP PHOTO
SYDNEY---Rugby great David Campese
was criticised for "bigoted" comments
about Pakistan-born spin bowler Fawad
Ahmed by Cricket Australia chief execu-
tive James Sutherland yesterday.
Ahmed received permission from
Cricket Australia to not wear a beer com-
pany logo on his uniform due to his Mus-
lim faith. Campese, retired after 101 rugby
tests for Australia, said Ahmed should "go
home" if he did not want to wear the
sponsor's logo on his playing shirt.
Earlier, former Test cricketer Doug Wal-
ters was quoted in Australian media as
saying: "I think if he doesn't want to wear
the team gear, he should not be part of
Campese then wrote on Twitter: "Doug
Walters tells Pakistan-born Fawad
Ahmed: if you don't like the ... uniform,
don't play for Australia Well said doug.
Tell him to go home."
Ahmed, who fled Pakistan in 2009 to
seek asylum in Australia and gained fast-
track citizenship in July, was picked for
Australia's five-match limited-overs series
in England after he made his debut in the
Twenty20 series last week.
"We were the ones that raised it with
Fawad to ensure he was comfortable,
knowing his religious background and
where alcohol fits in with that," Suther-
land said yesterday. (AP)
Campese criticises Pakistan-born refugee
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