[QODLink]
Tennis

Serena, Federer power into Brisbane final

Serena Williams to face Victoria Azarenka while Roger Federer takes on Lleyton Hewitt in the for the Brisbane title.

Last updated: 04 Jan 2014 10:36
Email Article
Print Article
Share article
Send Feedback
Williams had not lost to Sharapova in the last 14 matches [AFP]

Serena Williams and Roger Federer registered hard-fought wins to move into the final of the Brisbane International tournament.

Williams extended her winning streak against Maria Sharapova to 14 matches with a 6-2, 7-6 win while Federer beat eight-seed Jeremy Chardy 6-3, 6-7, 6-3 to set up the final against local hero Lleyton Hewitt.

Williams will play second-seeded Victoria Azarenka in Saturday's final, and will be favoured to retain the title that kicked off her stunning 2013 season that included 78 wins from 82 matches and 11 titles.

Meanwhile, Hewitt saw off second-seeded Kei Nishikori of Japan 5-7, 6-4, 6-3 to set up a showdown against an old rival.

Federer leads their head-to-head record 18-8, including 16 wins in their last 17 matches, and has 17 Grand Slam titles to
Hewitt's two.

Hewitt is coming back from long-term foot and toe injuries, is ranked in the 60s and is into his first final on home soil since losing the Australian Open decider to Marat Safin in 2005 - that last time he went beyond the semi-finals at a major.

"We go back 17 years - our coaches back in the day were best friends,'' Federer said.

"It's amazing we have a chance to play in Australia again - first time in a final here.''

Hewitt handled the heat better than his Japanese opponent as the temperatures topped 40 C, and his grinding style paid dividends as the match extended to 2 ½ hours.

"I love a battle,'' said Hewitt, who won the US Open in 2001 and Wimbledon in 2002 and spent 80 weeks at No. 1 before Federer assumed the top ranking and held onto it for four and a half years.

"Mentally this is a major win to have come back and gone the distance.''

281

Source:
AP
Email Article
Print Article
Share article
Send Feedback
Topics in this article
People
City
Featured on Al Jazeera
An innovative rehabilitation programme offers Danish fighters in Syria an escape route and help without prosecution.
Street tension between radical Muslims and Holland's hard right rises, as Islamic State anxiety grows.
Take an immersive look at the challenges facing the war-torn country as US troops begin their withdrawal.
Ministers and MPs caught on camera sleeping through important speeches have sparked criticism that they are not working.
Featured
More than 400 gaming dens operate on native lands, but critics say social ills and inequality stack the deck.
The Palestinian president is expected to address the UN with a new proposal for the creation of a Palestinian state.
Nearly 1,200 aboriginal females have been killed or disappeared over 30 years with little justice served, critics say.
Ethnic violence has wracked China's restive Xinjiang region, leading to a tight government clampdown.
Malay artists revitalise the art of puppeteering by fusing tradition with modern characters such as Darth Vader.