World No.1 Serena Williams has booked her place in the final of BNP Paribas Open in Indian Wells with a straight sets 6-4, 7-6(1) win over World No.3 Agnieszka Radwanska and will face Victoria Azarenka in the final, who defeated Karolina Pliskova in 3 sets.
Williams and Radwanska had met 9 times in the past and Williams had won all of those encounters. Williams had won last 6 meetings with Radwanska in straight sets and had won last 13 sets against them, a streak which started in Wimbledon 2012.
Radwanska had won only 1 out of 19 sets against Williams but his time Radwanska started better and broke Williams in the first game. The Pole was leading 4-2 in the first set but Williams made a comeback and won next 4 games in a row to take the first set 6-4.
In the second set Williams broke early and raced to a 3-0 lead but Radwanska fought back to level at 3-3. They were level at 5-5 when Radwanska broke Williams and served for the set at 6-5, but Williams broke back to force a tie-break. In the tie-break Williams won six points in a row to win it 7-1 and reached her first final in Indian Wells since 2001.
In the other semifinals, 2012 Indian Wells Champion and 2-time Australian Open winner Azarenka faced 18th seed Karolina Pliskova. Azarenka was broken in the fifth game of the first set and Pliskova served for the set at 5-4. Azarenka broke her in the 10th game to level at 5-5 and the set was decided by tie-break, which Azarenka easily won 7-1.
In the second set Pliskova broke Azarenka in the second game to face to 3-0 lead. The Czech got another break in the sixth game and took the second set 6-1 to level the match. In the deciding set Azarenka broke Pliskova in the fourth game which shifted the momentum on Belarusian’s side.
Azarenka was leading 5-2 when Pliskova served to stay in the match. The Former World No.1 Azarenka broke Pliskova in the eighth game to take the second set 6-2 and reached the final. She will meet Williams for the 21st time and Williams lead 17-3 in previous meetings against Azarenka.