Victoria Azarenka leaves fans speechless with Australian Open blitz

Jessica Pegula appeared to have no answers against the veteran.

Victoria Azarenka (pictured right) celebrating and (pictured left) Jessica Pegula frustrated.
Victoria Azarenka (pictured right) played some of her best tennis to take the first set against America's Jessica Pegula (pictured left) in their quarter-final clash at the Australian Open. (Getty Images)

Victoria Azarenka has left the tennis world in awe as she turned back the clock and blitzed American favourite Jessica Pegula in her quarter-final clash in Melbourne. Azarenka, a two-time Australian Open champion, was up against her good friend and the No.3 seed Pegula in a must-watch match.

However, the 33-year-old Belarusian came out on Rod Laver Arena with a mission as she returned ball after ball to leave Pegula searching for answers. At one stage Pegula showed a rare outburst of emotion.

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"I don't know what to do," Pegula said in the direction of her coach. "The ball's not going anywhere."

Azarenka had the opportunity to serve for the set at 5-3, but she was unable to convert. Pegula had an opportunity to climb back into the set, but Azarenka targeted the second serve and claimed the set after an incredibly high-level performance in the women's quarter-final.

Aussie great Alicia Molik claimed Azarenka's level of play was as if they had been: "Transported in a time machine...this could be 10 years ago."

Many couldn't believe the level of tennis from the 33-year-old who is the oldest remaining player in the draw. The two-time Australian Open champ received praise for her tenacity in the opening set.

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Victoria Azarenka went on to gain a 2-0 lead in the second set with Pegula searching for answers. The Belarusian didn't look back and ran away with the match 6-4, 6-1 in her best performance in Melbourne for a number of years.

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The No.24 seed has now set-up a blockbuster match against the in-form Wimbledon champion Elena Rybakina. The Kazakhstan star defeated Jelena Ostapenko 6-2, 6-4 earlier in the day.

"It hurts to beat her (Pegula) because I always want her to do well," Azarenka said.

"She's been playing amazing, very consistent and I knew from the first point I had to bring it.

"I just wanted to try to stay there, take opportunities because she was going to take everything if I don't try to win myself. I'm very proud that I executed my game plan really well.

"It's so amazing to be in the semi-final of another grand slam."Plenty has changed for Azarenka in the 10 years since her last semi-final in Melbourne - she is now 33 and a mother, but her aggressive baseline play was a reminder of her past triumphs.

with AAP

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