Victoria Azarenka clinched her place in the US Open final with a 1-6 6-3 6-3 victory over Serena Williams, who suffered injury heartbreak on Arthur Ashe Stadium.
The 31-year-old, who like Williams left the WTA Tour to give birth to her son Leo, continued her remarkable comeback on the big stage as she progressed through to the final at Flushing Meadows.
Unseeded in New York, Azarenka took full advantage with the match in the balance when Williams suffered a nasty-looking ankle injury in the early stages of the deciding set and showed all her class and composure in closing out a stunning win.
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Azarenka, who trailed the American 3-0 in their head-to-head at Grand Slams prior to the match, had roared back in the second set after getting comprehensively outplayed in the opener and having only won a single game.
While the 38-year-old Williams will be left to rue the ankle injury she sustained at a critical point in the final set, Azarenka thoroughly deserved her victory in a typically battling and gutsy display and has now won 11 matches on the bounce.
Serena Williams of the United States has her ankle retaped in the third set during her Women's Singles semifinal match against Victoria Azarenka of Belarus on Day Eleven of the 2020 US Open at the USTA Billie Jean King National Tennis Center
Image credit: Getty Images
The former world number one will now take on Naomi Osaka in the women's showpiece match on Saturday after the fourth seed beat Jennifer Brady in the other semi-final.
It will be Azarenka's first Grand Slam final since 2013 and it will present the opportunity for her to return to the biggest stage in New York and attempt to win a third major title after a brace of Australian Open triumphs earlier in her career.
The Belarusian Azarenka will take on Osaka looking to prove a point in New York after having lost her previous two finals at Flushing Meadows to Williams in 2012 and 2013.