NEW YORK – Second-seeded Victoria Azarenka moved a win away from a possible showdown in the U.S. Open finals with Serena Williams, topping Daniela Hantuchova 6-2, 6-3 on Wednesday in the quarterfinals.
Azarenka has beaten top-seeded Williams twice this year, including last month in the final of a tuneup tournament in Cincinnati. Last year, Williams topped Azarenka in three sets for her fourth title at Flushing Meadows.
The quarterfinal against 48th-ranked Hantuchova wasn't much of a roadblock. Hantuchova, returning to the U.S. Open quarterfinals for the first time since 2002, broke Azarenka's first service game in both sets but gave back both breaks right away.
Standing in the way of a Williams-Azarenka final are fifth-seeded Li Na, who plays Williams in Friday's semifinals, and 83rd-ranked Flavia Pennetta, who goes against Azarenka.