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Sport Tennis Miami Victoria Azarenka Serena Williams Belarus Germany United States

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Azarenka continues hunt for Miami title

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Victoria Azarenka is trying to become only the third woman to win back-to-back titles in Indian Wells and Miami. Geoff Burke/USA Today Sports

For the chance to play in the women's final at the Miami Open, there'll be a repeat on Thursday of the Australian Open showdown between Angelique Kerber and Victoria Azarenka.

 


The German won that quarter-final encounter and eventually beat Serena Williams in the final to claim her first grand slam title.

But since then the force has been with Azarenka. The former world number one from Belarus won the Indian Wells title two weeks ago, seeing off Serena Williams in the final.

And the 26-year-old is only two matches away from emulating Steffi Graf and Kim Clijsters who won the two trophies back to back in 1996 and 2005 respectively.

"If I win, that's great," Azarenka said on the eve of the clash. "But right now I'm looking to the semis."

Azarenka defeated British 24th seed Johanna Konta 6-4, 6-2 while Kerber cruised into the semi-finals also with a straight sets win against the 22nd seed Madison Keys..

Kerber, seeded second, will try to beat Azarenka for only the second time in what will be their eighth meeting.

"We have played some really tough matches," Kerber said. "I know I have to play my best tennis against her. I will be ready."

Azarenka, who won the 2009 and 2011 Miami titles, will rise to fifth in the world next week.

The other semi-final pits the two-time grand slam champion Svetlana Kuznetsova against the 19th seeded Swiss Timea Bacsinszky.

The 30-year-old Russian has won both their previous meetings.