Azarenka beats Serena to reach 1st US Open final since 2013
Matthew Stockman / Getty Images Sport / Getty

Serena Williams' wait for No. 24 goes on.

After looking overwhelmed early on, Victoria Azarenka battled back to beat her old rival - and friend - in an enthralling US Open semifinal on Thursday night at Arthur Ashe Stadium.

The Belarusian was blown away by the 23-time Grand Slam champion in the opening set, winning just a single game. But she regrouped quickly, found her rhythm, and ultimately came away with a 1-6, 6-3, 6-3 win to reach her first major final since 2013.

Azarenka, a two-time Grand Slam champion, will meet No. 4 seed Naomi Osaka in Saturday's showpiece match in New York.

Williams, who required a medical timeout early in the third set after suffering an apparent ankle injury, appeared to be in complete control of the contest. Azarenka, who had never beaten Williams in 10 previous Grand Slam affairs, hit just four winners in dropping a one-sided opening set.

But she racked up 20 in the final two sets en route to the gritty victory; Azarenka won five consecutive games to close out the middle frame and carried that into the decisive set, surging to a 3-0 advantage.

She'll now have the chance to face Osaka after the Japanese star had to withdraw from their impending clash in the recent Western & Southern Open due to a hamstring injury.

Osaka, who won the US Open in 2018, will also be looking for her third Grand Slam title.

Azarenka beats Serena to reach 1st US Open final since 2013
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