Wimbledon 2011: Victoria Azarenka beats Tamira Paszek in quarters

Wimbledon Championships

Venue:
All England Club, London
Date:
20 June-3 July
Coverage:
Live on BBC One, Two, 3D, HD, Red Button, online (UK only), Radio 5 live, 5 live sports extra; live text commentary from 0900 BST on BBC Sport website (#bbctennis); watch again on iPlayer
Victoria Azarenka

Victoria Azarenka advanced to her first Grand Slam semi-final with a late-night victory over Tamira Paszek under the Centre Court roof at Wimbledon.

The match was stopped on Court One when rain fell after the first game and resumed at around 2010 BST.

World number four Azarenka came through 6-3 6-1 at 2125 BST to end the hopes of 80th-ranked Paszek and remain the highest-ranked woman left in the draw.

The Belarusian takes on eighth seed Petra Kvitova in the last four.

Whoever wins that goes on to play Maria Sharapova or Sabine Lisicki in Saturday's final - and Azarenka will be full of confidence having beaten Paszek.

"It was definitely very difficult to wait the whole day and keep focused but I'm really glad we managed to play and I'm really happy with the win," she told BBC Sport.

"I knew when we went back to the locker rooms it was too late to wait on Court One. The roof is just amazing

"It's my mum's birthday today so I wanted to give her a big gift and I was trying to play beautifully. I stayed really focused today and composed throughout the whole match.

"Kvitova is a great player. Grass obviously suits her really well as she has a huge serve. I must play my best tennis, stay focused and try my hardest."

It looked as though the tie would have to be completed on Wednesday when drizzle arrived at around 1910 BST and soon led to play being abandoned on all courts other than Centre.

But instead, tournament officials took the unprecedented step of moving a live match under the roof. Court One ticket holders were allowed into Centre Court.

After a the usual knock-up, Azarenka held serve to level at 1-1 and followed it up with a ruthless break to love and hold to love for 3-1.

Victoria Azarenka

The fourth seed was dominating her 20-year-old opponent with a series of stinging groundstrokes and athletic drive-volleys, striking again in game five when Paszek flicked a forehand pick-up into the tramlines.

Azarenka swiftly moved to 5-1 but Paszek held firm to stay in the set and came from 40-15 down to recover one of the breaks with a blistering forehand winner.

Making her Grand Slam quarter-final debut, Paszek was the youngest and lowest-ranked player to reach the last eight - and it swiftly began to show.

Azarenka whipped a sensational forehand around the net post to break for 2-0 in the second set, followed it up with a love hold and moved to 5-1 when Paszek netted a forehand.

The Austrian had nothing left to give and Azarenka took advantage, converting her second match point when Paszek dumped a backhand into the net.

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