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Williams powers through to final
Serena Williams tore up the rankings as she demolished Victoria Azarenka on Centre Court to book her spot in a seventh Wimbledon final.
The 30-year-old American, ranked and seeded sixth, four places behind her opponent, produced a scintillating display packed with aces and brutal winners to send out the fiercest of warnings to the waiting Agnieszka Radwanska.
She won 6-3 7-6 (8/6) in front of an awe-struck sell-out crowd, beating her own recently-set record of 23 aces at Wimbledon with a 24th to end the match in resounding fashion.
Azarenka did hold her own first service game to love, though, before Williams produced a devastating game with ball in hand, her opponent getting a racket on just one of four deliveries to come her way.
It was much of the same in the fifth game, Williams sending two further aces over the net, and she was gradually eating into Azarenka's serve too, taking three deuces in the sixth game and breaking it in the eighth.
She brought up two break points with a series of pounding winners from the baseline and when Azarenka brought her in on a drop shot, she cashed the first of them in with a backhand around the net before holding for the set.
During the change of ends, some members of the crowd unfairly began to mimimic Azarenka's on-court noises, but her shrills turned to shrieks in the third game of the second set when she tamely netted to give Williams two more break points.
Again she took the first of them, drilling a forehand return to the corner, before letting out a noise of her own, with a vocal 'come on' bringing the crowd to their feet.
The 13-slam winner was not having everything her own way, though, and was broken herself in the third game when she shanked a forehand at 30-40. She then had two immediate chances to break back, but spurned them, and then held serve to a tie-break.
It appeared that nothing was going to separate them in that as the scores got to 6-6 but, when Azarenka offered match point with a forehand into the net, Williams took it, sending down a 24th ace.