Published February 16, 2013
| Sports Network
Doha, Qatar – Current world No. 1 Victoria Azarenka and American Serena Williams won their respective semifinal matches on Saturday at the $2.369 million Qatar Open.
Azarenka, who will lose her top ranking to Williams on Monday, whipped fourth-seeded Agnieszka Radwanska 6-3, 6-3 on the hardcourts at Khalifa International Tennis Complex.
Azarenka improved to 12-3 lifetime against Radwanska, including wins in their last eight meetings. The Belarusian star beat the Polish star in the semifinals here last year.
Williams, the No. 2 seed, secured a spot in Sunday's title match with a 6-3, 6-2 victory over two-time Qatar Open champion Maria Sharapova. The American improved to 11-2 in their lifetime series, including 10 straight victories.
The 31-year-old Williams overcame seventh-seeded Czech slugger Petra Kvitova in the quarterfinals to reclaim the world No. 1 ranking for the first time in 2 1/2 years.
When the new rankings come out Monday, Williams will become the oldest-ever woman to hold down the top spot. Williams replaces fellow American great Chris Evert as the oldest-ever No. 1. Evert held the spot when she was just shy of her 31st birthday in 1985.
The reigning Wimbledon and U.S. Open champion Williams will be trying to capture her 48th career singles title. Meanwhile, Azarenka will play for her 16th career crown.
Williams holds a dominant 11-1 advantage against Azarenka in their all-time series.