Williams said to start today’s final as favourite over Azarenka(REUTERS)

Serena Williams and Victoria Azarenka stormed into the final of the US Open with crushing victories in yesterday’s semis to set up a classic showdown between the greatest player of her generation and the current world number one.

Williams was at her ruthless best as she demolished Italian Sara Errani 6-1 6-2 to continue her golden summer while Azarenka was no less impressive as she clawed her way out of trouble to beat Maria Sharapova 3-6 6-2 6-4 at Flushing Meadows.

With momentum on her side after winning a fifth Wimbledon title in July then the Olympic singles and doubles events at the London Games, Williams will start today’s final as the overwhelming favourite.

“I think it will probably be the best summer I’ve ever had,” she said. “It will be up there because if you win the Olympics and Wimbledon and this, it would be kinda cool.” Few players have ever been able to keep pace with Williams when she is fit and in form and Azarenka knows the enormity of the challenge she faces.

The Belarusian has been the most consistent player in the world this year and won her first grand slam title at the Australian Open in January but her previous results against Williams have been poor, with the American winning nine of their 10 clashes.

“She’s the toughest opponent there is in the draw,” said Azarenka. “And being in the final makes it even more difficult so it’s definitely going to be a tough one.”Reuters