Former world number one Victoria Azarenka is still going strong at Indian Wells. She faced former French Open Champ Jelena Ostapenko in the last 4 in Carli. Victoria rolling back the glory years especially in the last set. A total of 21 break point opportunities tell the story of two players not exactly at the top of their game. The one to utilize the chances was going to end up the winner. Who started off the strongest? Jelena did. Check her out attacking the first serve 1-0(15-40) to seize early control of the set. Don’t think Jelena meant it but the backhand winner was more of a defensive return than a winner but they all count. Key? Placement. Although Victoria was serving at a decent 60% she wasn’t putting much power into the serves allowing Jelena the direct winners from them. Case in point? 3-2(0-40), she won’t get much easier breaks of serve will Jelena. Ostapenko’s advantage will remain until she closed out the set 6-3.

Who started the second set the brightest? Jelena attacking the serve again from the get go, watch advantage on deuce very first game on Azarenka’s serve. It could be overconfidence or otherwise but from 2-1 up Ostapenko began to wain. For me it was a combination of Azarenka’s hitting getting better. Check out the unforced error at 5-3(adv on deuce) set point Azarenka. Victoria made sure to hit the right areas which is to keep Ostapenko on her toes on the baseline, the error wasn’t a lucky turn for the Belarussian. It was well earned.

To break our pattern who started the third set well? It was Victoria’s turn to attack the serve first game at 30-40 down. It was a crucial game in which Azarenka ended up breaking serve. Impressive backhand winners in the last set from both players. The twists of the back and forth match was at 3-3. Check out the break point at 40-30 in favor of Azarenka. The backhand by Jelena ticked the boxes, control, racquet face open with the swing of hip. Despite a spirited fight the Latvian would lose serve on 5-5 and never came back into this one. The type of shots like at 30-40 there were popping up at same rate as the sublime winners. That inconsistency cost Jelena the match. Azarenka will now face Paula Badosa of Spain in the final after Badosa ended Ons Jabeur’s run in straight sets.