Serena, Sharapova on collision course in Madrid

Updated: May 10, 2013


Reigning champion Serena Williams went
the distance in order to win her quarterfinal match, while Maria Sharapova had
an easier time reaching the semifinals at the $4 million Madrid Open, a clay-
court French Open tune-up.

The world No. 1 Williams barely got past Spanish wild card Anabel Medina
Garrigues, 6-3, 0-6, 7-5, in 2 hours, 14 minutes at The Magic Box. Medina
Garrigues lost despite recording more service breaks (5-4) than her American
counterpart on Friday.

After getting bageled in the second set, Williams fell behind 2-4 in the
third, despite jumping out to a 2-0 lead, as Medina Garrigues won 10-of-12
games at one point.

But the American great rallied, breaking the 63rd-ranked Medina Garrigues’
serve twice en route to one of her trademark come-from-behind victories.

“It was definitely a battle,” Williams said. “I obviously didn’t do much in
the second set and gave her confidence to play better.”

The Wimbledon and U.S. Open champion Williams, who beat Victoria Azarenka in
last year’s marquee Madrid finale, is now 29-2 this season. She’ll meet 2012
French Open runner-up Sara Errani on Saturday.

Meanwhile, the second-seeded former No. 1 and reigning French Open titlist
Sharapova stayed hot by handling Estonian slugger Kaia Kanepi 6-2, 6-4 on Day
7 in the Spanish capital.

Sharapova is seeking her second title in two events, having recently run the
table in Stuttgart.

Williams and Sharapova could clash in a blockbuster final here on Sunday.

The aforementioned Italian Errani, seeded seventh this week, reached the semis
by tackling Russian Ekaterina Makarova 6-4, 6-3.