The pair will meet again in the title match here today after both secured comfortable wins in the last four.
As she has been all tournament, Williams was the most impressive as she powered past fifth seed Li Na 6-0 6-3.
The American has dropped just 16 games in six matches so far and will go into today’s match as a clear favourite.
The Belarusian, meanwhile, will take confidence from the fact she has won two of their three matches this season, including in Cincinnati last month.
Azarenka said of last year’s final: “Mentally I felt like it was a great turning point for me. It was just really good experience.
“I feel like I’m a better player. I’m a more complete player. That’s what you aim for after one year of work. So in terms of that, I’m pretty pleased.”