The quarterfinal match-up between Victoria Azarenka and Li Na at the 2012 Mutua Madrid Open promised to be a tight contest, and it lived up to prior billing. Li Na came out strong, breaking Vika to go up 4-2 on an Azarenka double fault on double break point. However, Vika rebounded from eventually dropping the first set to surge back and take the final two sets, winning 3-6 6-3 6-3. Only 3 total points separated the two players in this match. Up next for Vika is Agnieszka Radwanska, whom she has beaten 5 times already this year. The air is a bit chilly between these two lately. We’ll see if Aga can turn up the heat on Azarenka or go down for a sixth time.
Not living up to the hype was the match between Serena Williams and Maria Sharapova. Serena actually didn’t get a great percentage of first serves in, only 52%. But when she needed it, she was able to crank up a powerful ace, scorching 11 in total. In the end, Serena had too much for Masha, winning 6-1 6-3. Obviously, the players still around in the semifinals need to concentrate on their own games. Still, I have to wonder if Vika didn’t take a peek at Serena’s dismantling of Masha and wonder what she can do should they meet in the final. But first, both Vika and Serena have semifinal opponents to worry about. Anything can happen in sports. That said, the final most want to see is Vika vs Serena to see who the real #1 is right now.
Singles – Quarterfinals
(1) Victoria Azarenka (BLR) d. (8) Li Na (CHN) 36 63 63
(9) Serena Williams (USA) d. (2) Maria Sharapova (RUS) 61 63
(4) Agnieszka Radwanska (POL) d. (Q) Varvara Lepchenko (USA) 64 64
(Q) Lucie Hradecka (CZE) d. (5) Samantha Stosur (AUS) 76(8) 76(6)