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Azarenka, Serena to meet in Olympic semis

Australian Open champion Victoria Azarenka and Wimbledon winner Serena Williams will do battle in Friday's semifinals at the Olympic Games tennis event.

The reigning world No. 1 Azarenka of Belarus handled seventh-seeded German left-hander Angelique Kerber 6-4, 7-5 on Centre Court at the All England Club, while the fourth-seeded American star Williams waltzed past eighth-seeded fellow former No. 1 Caroline Wozniacki of Denmark 6-0, 6-3 on Court 1.

Azarenka needed 1 hour, 46 minutes to get past Kerber in a match that featured 10 service breaks, including six by the winner. Williams whipped Wozniacki in 77 minutes, striking 23 more winners (30-7) and holding her massive serve throughout on Day 6 of this nine-day tournament.

The 23-year-old Azarenka has spent the majority of 2012 at No. 1 after capturing her first major title in Melbourne back in January, while Williams captured her fifth Wimbledon title in this London suburb just last month.

Williams has won her last 15 matches overall since being shocked by France's Virginie Razzano in the first round at the French Open in May.

Azarenka and Williams will meet for a 10th time on Friday, with the American great holding a comfortable 8-1 lead in their career head-to-head matches.

The 30-year-old Williams, who is a perfect 11-0 on grass this year, owns 14 major singles titles, but needs an Olympic gold medal to complete a career "Golden Slam."

A Thursday upset came when 14th-seeded Russian Maria Kirilenko knocked out sixth-seeded 2011 Wimbledon champion Petra Kvitova of the Czech Republic 7-6 (7-3), 6-3 on Court 2. Russia swept the women's singles medals four years ago in Beijing, when Elena Dementieva captured gold, Dinara Safina took home silver and Vera Zvonareva secured bronze.