She and Williams became the first set of mothers to reach the semifinals of the same Grand Slam tournament. There were nine mothers in the field. Azarenka, who gave birth to a son in 2016, says being a parent is the most important thing in her life but adds that "I'm a tennis player on the court, I'm a fighter on the court." She adds that "being a parent is the toughest thing. So once you can balance that, you can do anything." Azarenka ended Williams' latest bid for a record-tying 24th Grand Slam singles title.
Azarenka, a two-time Grand Slam champion, advanced to her first major final in seven years and will play 2018 U.S. Open champion Naomi Osaka on Saturday. They were supposed to meet in the final of the Western & Southern Open, played this year in Flushing Meadows immediately before the U.S. Open, but Osaka withdraw because of a hamstring injury.
Williams appeared she would reach her third straight U.S. Open final easily after rolling through the first set. But Azarenka won five straight games to close out the second set and surge to a 3-0 lead in the third, going on to beat Williams for the first time in their 11 Grand Slam meetings.