Sloane Stephens: 'Victoria Azarenka didn't abuse medical timeout system'

US player Sloane Stephens smiles during her press conference, after her quarter-final win over Serena Williams on January 23, 2013
© AP Photos
Sloane Stephens dismisses claims that Victoria Azarenka abused the medical timeout system during their Australian Open semi-final clash.

Sloane Stephens has dismissed suggestions that Victoria Azarenka abused the medical timeout system during their Australian Open semi-final earlier today.

After failing to convert five match points, the world number one, who appeared to be suffering from a minor panic attack, left the court for nine minutes before returning to seal a 6-1 6-4 victory.

Stephens, who has not called for the on-court trainer during her entire career, has been delayed by her opponent taking a timeout in each of her last three matches.

When asked by if she thought that the system was being abused, she replied: "No, I don't think so.

"There's a certain thing in the locker room that tells you like if you take more than six [timeouts] a year or something that they'll start charging you. That's a good rule.

"But the whole time I've been on the WTA Tour I've never had a medical timeout, so I don't know how it feels. I don't know what they do. I don't even know what you say."

Stephens beat Simona Halep, Kristina Mladenovic, Laura Robson, Bojana Jovanovski and Serena Williams en route to the last four at Melbourne Park.

Victoria Azarenka reacts during her semifinal match against American Sloane Stephens at the Australian Open tennis championship on January 24, 2013
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