Azarenka bandwagon rolls on
Australian Open champion cruises into Qatar semis
Last Updated: 17/02/12 7:11pm
Victoria Azarenka: Marched into the semi-finals
World number one Victoria Azarenka moved into the semi-finals of the Qatar Open in Doha with a 6-0 6-4 victory over Yanina Wickmayer.
The Australian Open champion made it 15 successive victories in 2012 to remain on course for a third title after wins in Sydney and Melbourne.
The Belarusian ghosted through the first set virtually unopposed but the Belgian proved a different proposition in the next as she broke to get back on serve at 4-4.
But Azarenka broke back immediately and then served out for the match in 67 minutes.
"Second set I had opportunities in every single game. I just couldn't really convert them," Azarenka said. "But, you know, it's important the way I finished the second set. It was the same way I started the match."
Third seed Samantha Stosur overcame a blip to record a three-set victory over Monica Nicolescu of Romania.
The US Open champion advanced to her first semi-final of the season with a 6-2 2-6 6-3 win after losing her momentum in the second set, eventually pulling through in just under two hours.
Stosur had another crisis in the decider after moving into a 3-0 lead, allowing her opponent to level before finally asserting her authority.
"It was an up-and-down match for both of us," said the Australian. "I was able to pick up my game at the end of it. I believed in myself."
Stosur will face Frenchwoman Marion Bartoli in the last four after she overcame giantkiller Lucie Safarova 7-5 4-6 6-1.
Safarova had beaten Caroline Wozniacki and Svetlana Kuznetsova earliler in the week, but after taking the second set to level the match ran out of gas in the decider.
"The turning point was my fitness," said Bartoli. "I was fitter than her and that helped me win the match."