NEW YORK -- Victoria Azarenka, seeded second and winner of the last two Australian Opens, has advanced to the semifinals of the U.S. Open on Wednesday night with a routine 6-2, 6-3 win over unseeded Daniela Hantuchova.
Azarenka will find another unseeded player in the semifinals, Italian Flavia Pennetta.
Last year at this tournament, Azarenka held a 5-3 third-set lead over No. 1-seeded Serena Williams before the American won the final four games and the title.
Azarenka, 24, who joined a trio of 31-year-olds -- Willliams and Li Na plus Pennetta -- in the semifinals, said, "I'm a baby. What can I say?" Azarenka's only nervous moment came the first time she tried to serve out the match and got broken. But in the next game, Azarenka broke right back and hit a forehand return winner for the win.
She said, "New York gives me energy, makes me want to go on the court and want to fight."
Azarenka, who dates singer Redfoo, son of Motown founder Barry Gordy, said she is listening to Motown tunes before her matches. Her most recent favorite? Marvin Gaye.