Azarenka reaches 2nd straight U.S. Open final; Serena awaits

U.S. Sports Desk, Sep 6 (EFE).- Belarusian Victoria Azarenka struggled again on serve but still comfortably advanced to the U.S. Open final for the second straight year with a 6-4, 6-2 victory Friday over Italy's Flavia Pennetta in breezy conditions.

The world No. 2 won fewer than half of her overall service points and was broken on five occasions, reminiscent of her match earlier in the tournament against Serbia's Ana Ivanovic when she lost serve a whopping seven times.

Like in that fourth-round encounter, however, Azarenka's dominating return game was the difference Friday as Pennetta only won her serve once during the one-hour, 34-minute match.

In the second set, the Italian lost all four of her service games and only won six of her 23 serve points.

"I didn't serve really well today, but she neither. I think it was a lot of wind in the court. It's moving a lot the ball all the time," Pennetta, who was playing in her first Grand Slam semifinal, said afterward.

"It was not easy to serve. But for me, I think I didn't serve in the way I was serving before because she make me a lot of pressure."

Azarenka advanced to the final without having to face a top-10 player but that will change in Sunday's final when she takes on world No. 1 Serena Williams, who steamrolled world No. 5 Na Li of China in Friday's second semifinal 6-0, 6-3.

Williams and Azarenka also squared off in last year's final, with the American 16-time Grand Slam champion coming out on top in three sets.