Victoria Azarenka battled past an ailing but determined second seed Angelique Kerber to set up a Miami Open final showdown against Svetlana Kuznetsova with a 6-2 7-5 victory on Thursday.

 

The 13th-seeded Belarusian gained revenge for a quarter-final loss to the second-seeded German at the Australian Open, her only defeat of the season, but had to fight tooth and nail to earn it in a 94-minute tussle.

“I am very happy I stayed really strong in the end and actually started really well,” Azarenka said in a courtside interview.

“I started to dictate (early) and I think the beginning was really important,” she added of the victory over the Australian Open champion.

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