Serena, Sharapova One Step From No. 1 Battle in Madrid; Nadal Wins
by Staff | May 10th, 2013, 10:05 pm

World No. 1 Serena Williams and No. 2 Maria Sharapova are each one win away from a blockbuster meeting to determine the No. 1 ranking next Monday after both won quarterfinals matches on Friday at the Mutua Madrid Open in Spain.
Williams had a difficult time against Spanish wildcard Anabel Medina Garrigues, losing the second set 6-0 in a 6-3, 0-6, 7-5 eventual triumph.

“I obviously didn’t do much in the second set, which gave her a lot of confidence to play better,” Williams said. “And then I thought she played really well after that in the third…I’m going to go back to the way I have been playing and being more calm and not making as many unforced errors as I did out there today.”

Williams will on Saturday face No. 7 seed Sara Errani, who eased past Ekaterina Makarova of Russia 6-4, 6-3.

Sharapova likewise had an easy time with Estonia’s unseeded Kaia Kanepi, winning 6-2, 6-4.

“I was just happy to get past the quarterfinals — I feel like I’ve been stuck there in this tournament,” said Sharapova, who will in the semis meet fellow former No. 1 Ana Ivanovic, who upset No. 6 seed Angie Kerber 6-3, 6-1. “I faced a really good claycourt player today. A lot of her success has come on clay. I faced her at the French Open last year, where she had really good wins, so I know that she’s capable.”

On the men’s side two Spaniards, along with a Czech and a Swiss (not that Swiss) moved into the semifinals.

No. 5-seeded Rafael Nadal out-grinded fellow Spaniard David Ferrer, the No. 4 seed, 4-6, 7-6(3), 6-0, and was joined by wildcard countryman Pablo Andujar, who upset Federer-killer and No. 14 seed Kei Nishikori 6-3, 7-5.

“The favorite, of course, is him,” said Andujar on meeting Nadal in the semis. “I do believe I have more options playing in Madrid because it’s a little bit faster. And playing two sets, you cannot tell who’s the worst player. You don’t see it so clearly. It’s true that in two sets the one who’s a little bit inferior has the possibility to give the surprise.”

The two seeded upsets were joined by two more when No. 6 Tomas Berdych upended No. 3 Andy Murray 7-6(3), 6-4, and No. 15 Stan Wawrinka outlasted No. 7 Jo-Wilfried Tsonga 6-2, 6-7(9), 6-4.

Murray said that with the low bar he has set, it was a good week.

“This week was better than Monte Carlo, so it’s going in the right direction,” he said. “Tomas is a very good claycourt player, and it was a close match. I had my chances. I think I’m playing okay. Some things I would like to do better, but I did play very well in practice in the buildup to this tournament.”

Saturday’s schedule in Madrid:

MANOLO SANTANA start 10:50 am

[1] S Williams (USA) vs [7] S Errani (ITA)

Not Before 1:00 PM

[16] A Ivanovic (SRB) vs [2] M Sharapova (RUS)

Not Before 3:30 PM

[5] R Nadal (ESP) vs [WC] P Andujar (ESP)

Starting at 7:00 PM

[15] S Wawrinka (SUI) vs [6] T Berdych (CZE)


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37 Comments for Serena, Sharapova One Step From No. 1 Battle in Madrid; Nadal Wins

RZ Says:

Even if Maria becomes #1, my guess is that she’ll lost it at the French Open, as Serena can only gain points there, and Maria would have to win to keep her big point haul.

Kimmi Says:

That was a great match. Even though she lost, Errani has shown a lot of improvement lately.

the DA Says:

So….the Rome draw is underway. Nadal in Ferrer’s QTR and Nole’s half (what do the conspiracy theorists make of that??). Fed/Andy in the ohter half.

the DA Says:

Projected last 16: Wawrinka-Djokovic,Raonic-Ferrer,Tipsarevic-Nadal,Nishikori-Murray,Haas-Federer.

VERY interesting indeed. I hope Roger and Andy make the semis, it’d be great to see them play their first clay match. The other half of the draw looks like a minfield (for a change).

the DA Says:

^ minefield

Kimberly Says:

Sharapova-Serena, it’s on!

the DA Says:

Andy gives Tsonga a lift to Rome:

Jo tweeted: “It’s our ride to Rome! @andy_murray massive gentleman. I will get you back one day”

hehe, I think he meant to say “I will pay you back one day”.

van orten Says:

murray is not really good on clay.. so fed should win this if they meet…feds record on clay speaks for itself by the way…

Aon Says:

Rafa dominates first set, won by 6,0 . Andujar struggling his serve.

volley Says:

^ if Nishikori can beat him the record on clay means squat.

Cena Says:

So it’s Serena and Maria, eh. Well, of course, I am for the American. Just hope the right Serena shows up to play…lol.

Cena Says:

Hey, how about Sara Errani! She’s a fav of mine, and so glad to see her game improve.

Margot Says:

@ the DA
L…uv…er..lee pic of JW and Andy. Ta. Don’t think Andy owns a private jet so wonder if Joe was joshing. Also good to read your positive comments about Andy v Big Bird on other thread. Didn’t see the match but didn’t expect him to win tbh. Wasn’t good against Simon.
Let’s hope he gets even better in Rome. Yay :)

queen Says:

Ha ha Andy tweeted Jo back “some fashion tips and let me win the next time we play” love it!

nadalista Says:

7 tournaments, 7 finals.


the DA Says:

@ margot – he definitely doesn’t own one but Jo wasn’t joshing as you can see from the interior pic:

Regarding last night, he played much better than against Simon. Encouraging signs, small steps, etc.

alex Says:

More baby draws for Nadal!

Is this a joke!

Whats the point of being number 1 when you can take a year off, come back, and get baby draws…Unbelievable how lucky this guy is!

Or is it luck?

nadalista Says:

Forget Fedal, it’s Nadarinka tomorrow………

alex Says:

Wow ^

Thx for the good news!

No news is better then Berdshit getting the old flush treatment!

Just made my day, I thought Wawi was done for, switched off in the third, down a break.

alex Says:

Lamo at Nadalistas little spin on names..

Google the word “Rinka”. Then add Nada to that.

Not pretty…hahahha.

alex Says:

Lamo…mmm..whatever-same thing.

alex Says:


Did I mention Urban Dictionary..

courbon Says:

@DA:Don’t get me on with conspiracy theories…Imagine if Nadal ends in RG also in Ferers half?(so far Madrid, Rome )That would look quite suspicious?
I think you support Murray?Good luck for your guy in Rome(I lived in Britain for 20 years -so I have soft spot for Andy even if I’m Novaks fan)

the DA Says:

@ courbon – It’s not so much that he landed in Ferrer’s quarter but Nole’s half. I thought the theory was the draws would be rigged so Rafa would always be on the opposite side of the draw.

Thanks for the good luck wishes for Andy. I’m not British but I also lived there for many years (16). It might also explain my initial interest in him :)

courbon Says:

@DA:There is couple of conspiracys-one is from about 2 months ago-Nadal always in Ferrers half.
And then conspiracy about Novaks half…anyway, cant wait for Rome to start (the moment your favourite exit tournament -like Nole in Madrid-your interest drops in that tournament.I guess is normal…even if I enjoyed watching Wawrinkas journey in Madrid.

Wilfried Says:

There are many roads leading to Rome as well as many possible ways to rig a draw in tennis.
Nadal got what he explicitly asked for which is facing Djokovic as soon as possible.
And as far as Roland Garros is concerned: you better believe he won’t be in Djokovic’s half of the draw.
Anything else?

the DA Says:

@wilfried – haha, so Nadal asked for it? Okay. What’s the thinking behind that? Anyway, we’ll see what happens soon enough.

On another note, Raonic has split from Galo Blanco. Had to happen sooner or later. He oversaw his rise from 224 to 14 in the rankings but Milos seems to have reached a plateau.

Wog boy Says:

This is a peace of cake draw for Nole, Klizan, Wawrinka, Berdych, Nadal and then Federer, Murray or del Potro. No big deal, bring on FO, Rome is done and dusted;)

Wog boy Says:

Very important message for all mothers:

Happy Mathers Day

Since we celebrate everything before the rest of the world (only Kiwies are ahead of us), I have done my bit, coffee and toast in bed and …

Wog boy Says:


Kimberly Says:

Wog boy, you realize if nadal doesn’t claw his way to number four your favs Rg draw could be qf nadal semi feder final murry or delpo. Same for rafa.

Wog boy Says:


I have been thinking about that for a while now. After so many years (6-7) having same players as top 4 it is just hard to get used on this kind of possibilites.
Nole will have to play three semifinalist from Madrid one after another in Rome and then who ever comes from the other half, but it is Ok, long as Dimitrov (and Haas) are in the other half..

skeezer Says:

Congrats to Serena beating Maria for her 50th title!!

Denver Says:

Serena is a disgrace to women’s tennis. Gone are the days we had some great graceful champions.

alison Says:

Congrats to Serena Williams as Tina Turner would say Simply The Best,ATM theres not a single female tennis player who can touch her,probably Vika at her best,but thats it,shes simply in a league of her own.

Wilfried Says:

@ the DA
Nadal said he “really hopes that he gets another chance” against Djokovic.
He didn’t say why he hopes this, so we can only guess about the thinking that’s behind it.

Top story: Djokovic Impressed By Sinner's Professionalism