US Open 2020: I love playing against Serena – Azarenka excited for showdown

By Sports Desk September 10, 2020

Victoria Azarenka is excited to face Serena Williams again after an impressive display at the US Open on Wednesday.

Azarenka was in blistering form in a 6-1 6-0 thrashing of Belgian 16th seed Elise Mertens in the quarter-finals on Arthur Ashe Stadium.

The two-time grand slam winner next faces Williams and the Belarusian cannot wait, despite having lost 18 of their previous 22 meetings.

"I love playing against Serena. I think we have one of the best matches – at least that I played in my career – against her," Azarenka told a news conference.

"We always played on big stages. It was a lot of big fights. She's one of the players who push me to the limit, who makes me better. I'm excited for that.

"It's been a while since we played. I think the last time was, what is it, Indian Wells [last year]. I think we both were not really playing well at that time. I think the semi-final of a grand slam is a different stage. It's going to be a different fight. I'm looking forward to it."

While Williams is chasing a record-equalling 24th grand slam singles title, Azarenka will go into the meeting on the back of 10 straight wins.

Asked why she enjoyed playing the American so much, Azarenka said: "It's very simple: I like playing against the best. That's where you see yourself, your level, the biggest challenge.

"That's what I'm working hard for, to play on the biggest stages against the best players. There's no one as tough mentally as Serena. I love that challenge."

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