Victoria Azarenka overcomes Sloane Stephens to advance to Australian Open final

Azarenka will play 2011 French Open champion Li Na in Saturday night's final at Rod Laver Arena. Li earlier Thursday beat Maria Sharapova 6-2, 6-2.

updated: January 24, 2013 13:30 IST
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Melbourne: Victoria Azarenka overcame a sore left ankle, some anxiety and a slew of frustrating forehand errors before fending off American teenager Sloane Stephens to reach the Australian Open final against Li Na.

For the second time in two days, 19-year-old Stephens sat patiently on a courtside chair during a medical timeout by an experienced, older player late in the second set.

On Thursday, the top-seeded Azarenka returned to finish off a 6-1, 6-4 win on her sixth match point. It had been a different outcome Wednesday, when Stephens rallied from a set and a break down to beat an injured Serena Williams in three sets.

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