Madrid, Spain (Sports Network) - In a battle of former world No. 1s,
Serena Williams whipped Maria Sharapova to reach the semifinals at the
$5.190 million Madrid Open, a French Open tuneup being staged on an unusual
blue clay surface. World No. 1 Victoria also posted a quarterfinal victory on
The ninth-seeded Williams waltzed past the second-seeded Sharapova 6-1, 6-3 in
1 hour, 19 minutes at The Magic Box. The powerful American smacked 11 aces
past Sharapova, who was sloppy on her serve with eight double faults while
getting broken five times.
Williams swatted six aces and notched two early breaks in an easy first set,
and the American assumed control in the second following a sixth double fault
by her Russian counterpart, which made it 3-2 Williams, who then cruised from
The 30-year-old Williams, who's a perfect 11-0 on clay this year, also beat a
fellow No. 1 here on Thursday in Caroline Wozniacki.
The 13-time major champion Williams is now 8-2 lifetime against Sharapova,
including wins in their last seven meetings. Sharapova hasn't prevailed
against the American great since a final at the 2004 WTA Championships. A
then-teenaged Sharapova also shocked Williams in the '04 Wimbledon finale.
Sharapova was a clay-court titlist in Stuttgart two weeks ago after upsetting
Azarenka in the final there.
The formidable Azarenka had to come from behind on Friday to beat eighth-
seeded French Open champ Li Na of China 3-6, 6-3, 6-3.
Azarenka was last year's Madrid Open runner-up to Wimbledon champion Petra
The Australian Open titlist Azarenka is now a brilliant 33-2 this year.
This week's Madrid Open winner will earn $830,500.
The Sports Network