This is Wimbledon’s second singles semi-finals featuring a Belarusian; in 2000, Vladimir Volchkov was among the final four, beaten by Pete Sampras. Eleven years later, Azarenko has reached the same stage.
Of course, Belarusians have won many top trophies already, with Max Mirny winning the mixed doubles with American Serena Williams in 1998. In 1996, Vladimir Volchkov claimed victory in the junior competition and, in 2004, Victoria Azarenko and Olga Govortsova took the junior women’s doubles gold. One year later, Victoria won in the same category partnering Agnes Szavay of Hungary.
This time, Azarenko’s rival in the semi-finals was Petra Kvitova of the Czech Republic — one year younger and ranked eighth worldwide. She boasts four WTA Tour titles, and, previously, had boasted an equal number of wins and losses against Victoria. However, her recent two matches (including at Wimbledon last year) saw Petra win, defeating our sportswoman. This time, Kvitova easily won the first set — 6:1. However, the Belarusian kept her cool and reduced her errors to defeat her opponent in the second set — 6:3. It seemed that, after this success, Victoria might win the third set but Kvitova again seized the advantage and won the first three games. Azarenko was unable to catch up, leaving the score at 2:6.