Azarenka advances to semis
World number one Victoria Azarenka wasted no time in a 6-1 6-0 win over Ksenia Pervak on Thursday, setting up a semi-final showdown with Serena Williams at the Brisbane International.
The reigning Australian Open champion needed only 68 minutes to win her quarter-final, breaking the Kazakh's serve seven times.
Williams, who has won 34 of her last 35 matches including titles at Wimbledon, London 2012 and the US Open, defeated America's Sloane Stephens 6-4, 6-3 on Thursday evening.
Looking ahead to the semi-final, Azarenka said: "Well, it's a tough match, there is no question about it.
"I'm looking forward to it. There is one more chance for us to meet, and it's going to be a great test for the Australian Open."
Azarenka and Williams were the only two seeded players still in contention after number 36-ranked Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova of Russia beat fourth seed Angelique Kerber of Germany 7-6 7-6.
Pavlyuchenkova, a semi-finalist here in 2011, will next play Ukraine's Lesia Tsurenko, the lucky loser from qualifying who got into the main draw when second seed Maria Sharapova withdrew due to a sore right collarbone.
"I'm the first time in my life lucky loser, and it's really surprising for me to take the spot of Maria Sharapova," Tsurenko said.
"I'm just enjoying now. That's my chance. I'm just taking it."