Azarenka ends Crawford run


Samantha Crawford's fine run at the Brisbane International came to an end as Victoria Azarenka recorded a comfortable triumph to book a final meeting with Angelique Kerber.

American qualifier Crawford beat seventh seed Belinda Bencic and Andrea Petkovic in straight sets to reach her maiden WTA Tour semi-final, but came unstuck on Friday.

The world number 142 picked up only eight points as Azarenka raced through the opening set without dropping a game.

And although Crawford put up more of a fight thereafter, twice breaking the former world number one, Azarenka continued to dominate on her opponent's serve as she prevailed 6-0 6-3 in an hour and nine minutes.

Azarenka will now look to secure a first title since August 2013 but can expect a tough test from fourth seed Kerber, who impressed in a 6-2 6-3 victory over Carla Suarez Navarro.

Kerber, a four-time WTA Tour winner last year, took the attack to Suarez Navarro from the outset and fired 25 winners in a polished performance.

"I'm just trying to get out there and play like I've been practicing the last few weeks, trying to transfer it all into my matches, being more aggressive and serving better than I did in the last few months," said the German.

"I think it's working well. I think I'm on a good way to being 100 per cent ready for [the Australian Open in] Melbourne."