|Nationality||Player||Set 1||Set 2||Set 3||Set 4||Set 5|
- - WILLIAMS 6-1 6-3 - GAME, SET & MATCH! Back-to-back aces from Serena bring up three match points. She goes for a third straight ace with a serve out wide only to miss it just marginally. But she does hold at the first time of asking, behind the second serve, with a backhand winner down the line.
- - WILLIAMS 6-1 5-3 - BREAK! Serena turns that into a 15th break point of the match with a forehand winner across court after Azarenka's ball had caught the top of the tape and sat up for the American. The chance goes begging with a netted backhand from Serena but a forehand winner down the line earns her a second chance and this time a double fault from Azarenka hands Serena the break. Ouch. Serena will serve for the title next.
- - WILLIAMS 6-1 4-3 - Serena pulls a forehand long before netting a forehand to allow Azarenka a 30-0 lead on serve. A forehand drive volley winner from Serena which only just catches the very outside of the line pegs one point back before Azarenka earns herself two game points with a forehand winner. The first point goes begging after a dipping forehand from Serena which Azarenka can only net and Serena saves the second with a forehand winner down the line...
- - WILLIAMS 6-1 4-3 - BREAK! Serena hands Azarenka a lifeline when she goes long down the line with a backhand to hand the Belarusian two break back points. And sure enough Azarenka, who pulled up a bit sharply on one of those points, does break back with a series of huge forehands that eventually results in a defensive forehand into the net from Serena.
- - WILLIAMS 6-1 4-2 - BREAK! Serena swings from the hip and batters a backhand return of serve away for a winner before earning herself another two break points with a forehand return of serve that she also nails. Serena stops mid-point when she thinks Azarenka's forehand has gone just long. She quickly changes her mind and says she's not sure and umpire Cramer comes down to confirm the ball did catch the line. But Serena does break at the second attempt when Azarenka goes wide with a forehand.
- - WILLIAMS 6-1 3-2 - Serena keeps her nose in front in this second set with a speedy service hold and finding another ace in the process - her sixth of the afternoon so far.
- - WILLIAMS 6-1 2-2 - This time Azarenka does hold, again going toe-to-toe with Serena on a baseline exchange and coming out on top when the American pulls a forehand just wide across court. That is another massive hold from Azarenka as she doubles her output from the first set.
- - WILLIAMS 6-1 2-1 - The first break point goes begging after a great first serve from Azarenka that Serena can only hit long while the Belarusian also saves the second with some brutal hitting that ends when Serena goes wide across court with a forehand. A netted backhand from Serena hands Azarenka a game point. It goes begging but with a forehand long but Serena just marginally fails to get her cross court forehand over the net to hand Azarenka a second game point...
- - WILLIAMS 6-1 2-1 - Azarenka shows Serena exactly how to play the drop shot as she works her way into the net before slicing a backhand drop shot just over the net and down the line for a winner. Serena quickly puts Azarenka back in her place with a great get on the forehand wing followed by a cross court backhand passing shot winner. A backhand long from Azarenka on the next point hands Serena two more break points...
- - Azarenka gets a warning for a verbal obscenity during the change-of-ends. No point deduction yet but the Belarusian needs to be careful. That's the second week running that this has happened although umpire Kerilyn Cramer deals with it very well and tells Azarenka that she understands it was through frustration but if it is audible she has no choice but to warn her about it.
- - WILLIAMS 6-1 2-1 - A smash winner from Azarenka off a tricky ball right up at the net and looking into the sun, denies Serena on a first game point while a slightly lucky forehand winner down the line from the Belarusian, framed but landing just in, saves the second. Williams finds a forehand winner down the line to bring up a third game point and this time she does hold with another forehand winner and a yell of "come on".
- - WILLIAMS 6-1 1-1 - A forehand return long from Serena is greeted by a groan of disappointment from the American and Azarenka finally takes her opportunity to hold for the first time in the match with a huge first serve that Serena can only return wide across court.
- - WILLIAMS 6-1 1-0 - Serena is furious with herself when she nets a forehand to allow Azarenka to get off the mark and level at 15-15. The noise level goes up considerably from Serena on the next point but it seems to work for her as she quickly turns 15-15 into 30-40 and another break point (Serena skidding the ball off the baseline). This time the American does not get so lucky with the net cord, her forehand return taken wide after hitting the tape and Azarenka levels at deuce...
- - WILLIAMS 6-1 1-0 - Serena finds another ace to go 30-0 up before a forehand return from Azarenka hands her triple game point. She only needs the one though as another forehand return sails long from Azarenka.
- - Despite that being a 6-1 first set it was not as easy as the scoreline makes it seem for Serena. She still was required to save multiple break points, as well as suffering a break of serve in the fourth game. It took the world number one just over 45 minutes to wrap up that opening set for the loss of just the one game!
- - WILLIAMS 6-1 - SET! The first goes begging when Serena hits a backhand long down the line despite seemingly having the point won. And Azarenka saves the second with a big first serve and backhand winner down the line. Another Serena ball, this time a backhand, catches the top of the tape and bounces over for a drop shot winner to bring up a third set point. And this time the world number one does seal the set when Azarenka goes long with a backhand.
- - WILLIAMS 5-1 - Azarenka is furious with herself after missing a forehand and slams her racquet down on to the ground in frustration. The Belarusian needs to be careful - last week in Madrid she was docked a point for racquet abuse and verbal abuse in her first defeat of the year to Ekaterina Makarova. A backhand floated down the line from Azarenka is put away across court with a backhand winner and it brings up two set points for the American...
- - WILLIAMS 5-1 - Serena is still struggling with her first serve and Azarenka gets herself off the mark in the game with a brutal backhand return of serve winner. But suddenly Serena finds two huge first serves, the first an ace which results in Serena saying "finally"! The next Azarenka at least gets a racquet to but she cannot return the ball in play and Serena holds. The Belarusian will now have to serve to stay in this opening set.
- - WILLIAMS 4-1 - BREAK! After giving herself a stern talking to in between games, Serena hits a series of brutal (angry) ground-strokes that Azarenka simply cannot deal with to bring up three more break points. And sure enough the world number one does reestablish her double break lead with another huge cross court forehand which Azarenka can only net in response.
- - WILLIAMS 3-1 - BREAK! Another netted forehand from Serena, she's not sliding out to that wing, hands Azarenka another break chance but again the American saves it with a big serve. She's not quite there on a backhand down the line, netting to hand Vika a third break point and this time Azarenka does break back after a very poor forehand drop shot from Serena. Azarenka is on the scoreboard at least.
- - WILLIAMS 3-0 - A double fault from Serena hands Azarenka another chance to apply the pressure at 30-30. But an inside-out forehand across court from Serena, catches the top of the tape and bounces over the perfect drop shot but Azarenka levels at deuce with a blistering backhand winner down the line before fashioning a break point when Serena nets a forehand. An ace from Serena saves it but Vika saves a game point for Serena with a epic point that eventually ends when Serena nets a forehand...
- - WILLIAMS 3-0 - BREAK! Serena batters a dismissive forehand return of serve across court for the winner that seals her level at 30-30 before earning herself another break point. The chance goes begging when she attempts the drop shot only to leave the ball short of the net. A double fault from Azarenka hands Serena another chance though. And this time Serena does secure the double break after another rushed forehand wide from Azarenka. Ouch.
- - WILLIAMS 2-0 - Azarenka's chance to peg Serena back after a backhand long of the baseline and a double fault. Azarenka is back level at deuce. Deuce then becomes a break back point when Serena nets a backhand. She saves it with a cross court backhand that Azarenka can only return long. Another break point goes begging with a netted forehand from Azarenka. But great defence from Serena sees her hold - Azarenka could not have played that point much better but Serena wins it with a forehand.
- - WILLIAMS 1-0 - BREAK! Serena pegs Azarenka back from 40-0 to deuce with a couple of forehand winners and then a backhand winner. Azarenka squanders a fourth game point with a forehand long before then handing Serena an early break point with a cross court forehand just wide. Azarenka saves it with a backhand winner down the line after a very agressive point before also saving a second when Serena hits long. But Serena finally does break after eight minutes when Azarenka nets a forehand.
- - Azarenka won the toss and opted to serve first, although she was not entirely sure and took a good few seconds decide. Still it will be the world number three to get this clash underway...
- - So, what do you think? Does Azarenka have a chance to pick up her first ever win on the clay against Serena or will the American collect her fourth straight title heading into the French Open? Why not come say hi on Twitter @pippawdavis
- - The one piece of good news for Azarenka though is that she is practically the last person to beat Serena before that unbeaten run started. The Belarusian won their only meeting so far this year – a three set victory in the Doha final back in February. Immediately after that Serena went to Doha, where she lost to Marion Bartoli in her first match, before consecutive titles in Miami, Charleston and Madrid.
- - It gets worse for Azarenka though as Serena is currently on a 23-match winning streak – the best winning streak in the already incredibly impressive career from the 31-year-old American.
- - In Serena’s 11 victories, Azarenka has managed to take a set on just three occasions, although that includes their match at the 2009 Australian Open when the Belarusian was all over Serena only to nearly collapse on the court, battling with gastro-enteritis in the searing Melbourne heat.
- - These two have met each other 13 times before and the stats do not make pleasant reading for Azarenka as Serena has triumphed on 11 of those 13 occasions..
- - Hello and welcome to LIVE coverage from the women’s Italian Open final between world number one Serena Williams and world number three Victoria Azarenka.
|Date of Birth||26/09/1981|
|Date of Birth||31/07/1989|