Madrid 3rd RD Wednesday: Serena v Azarenka, Wozniacki v Radwanska
by Sean Randall | May 5th, 2015, 4:22 pm

No, this isn’t the semifinals or even the quarterfinals. It’s just the third round at the Madrid Masters and we have two big, blockbuster women’s matches on tap tomorrow.

Serena Williams takes on rival Victoria Azarenka and later a pair of Grand Slam runner-ups, Caroline Wozniacki and Agnieszka Radwanska, collide.

Defending champion Maria Sharapova and Petra Kvitova are also in action as is Sam Stosur who takes on another US Open champion in Svetlana Kuznetsova. Sharapova faces rising star Caroline Garcia who has given the Russian trouble in the past. But the main event is Serena against Vika.

Serena is of course undefeated on the year at 23-0 (she’s won 25 straight overall) and with the women’s Top 10 in a weak state, it’s hard to see anyone beating her. But one person who has done it in the past in Azarenka.

Serena has defeated the Belarussian 14 of 17 meetings, but Azarenka beat her twice in 2013 and their two most recent clashes since were close.

Azarenka is coming of an injury-riddled 2014, so maybe she’s rounding back into form – she just beat Venus quite handily? Or maybe we’ve seen her best, it’s hard to say – she’s still only 25 (Serena is 33!). But we’ll find out a lot more tomorrow on that and whether she’ll be a factor at the French.

I hope so, because like I said, the women’s Top 10 is a mess right now. The WTA needs her back.

And with Simona Halep out, Azarenka is probably the last player with any chance of beating Serena in the Madrid tournament. Wozniacki might have a chance as well in the final.

Speaking of Wozniacki, the resurgent Dane leads Radwanska 7-4 winning both meetings last year. Radwanska since added and then subtracted Martina Navratilova from her coaching box. Now ranked No. 9, Aga has to be desperate for some kind of meaningful win – it’s been a while. And this would be it.

“We grew up playing together. We’ve known each other since we were both eight years old,” Wozniacki said. “There are no secrets out there – we practice together all the time, and we play against each other a lot too. She’s been playing really well this week, so it’s going to be a really tough match.”

You Might Like:
Serena Williams Leads Insanely Tough Field at WTA Madrid
Azarenka, Kvitova Reach WTA Championships Semifinals; Wozniacki Eliminated
Azarenka Clinches No. 1 Ranking, Meets Sharapova In WTA Championships SFs; Will The Winner Meet Serena Sunday?
What Next for Struggling World No. 1 Simona Halep?
Serena Williams And Victoria Azarenka Will Resume Rivalry For Indian Wells Title Sunday

Don't miss any tennis action, stay connected with Tennis-X

Get the FREE TX daily newsletter

13 Comments for Madrid 3rd RD Wednesday: Serena v Azarenka, Wozniacki v Radwanska

M Says:

Big tennis day tomorrow, and I can’t just sit around and see it.

Rich Says:

I’m certainly not a Radwanska fan, but the Navratilova/Radwanska partnership made zero sense to me.

Martina was a strong, super-athletic, physically domineering, aggressive, attacking, serve-and-volleyer with a very effective swinging serve, and Radwanska is a slight, light, under-powered pure baseliner with no propensity for net rushing, a weak serve, and no physical presence.

It would be to me like Michael Chang trying to coach John McEnroe, or McEnroe trying to coach Wilander.

Opposites may attract, but they rarely make for effective coach/player teams.

Gregoire Gentil Says:

@Sean +1. for talking women tennis.

@Rich -1. Your analysis makes some sense but your description of Agnieska’s tennis is wrong and insulting.

Sure, she doesn’t have the power of Serena, but she can glue to the baseline like no other women on the tour and then hits some incredible backhands.

She is probably the player with the most hot shots videos, from multiple tweeners ( to incredible blind volley ( via behind-the-body shot ( No surprise she owns the tennis #ninja hashtag.

Izakbwallz Says:

I can list a few more player’s that are more than capable of beating Serena. Since the author of this article seems to be convinced that Halep was the only chance that could prevent Serena from winning the title. There’s Kvitova, Azarenka,Ivanovic, and Stosur, but that doesn’t mean that they would, but only that they could & would if they’re playing great tennis like they’ve played before.

jane Says:

azarenka is getting close; nice to see!

jane Says:

^ oops, just read up on the match; apparently vika choked not once but twice: was up 5-1 in first tiebreak and was serving for the match in set 3 with 3 match points. awww, too bad. but she’ll walk away know she can do it if she holds it together.

Dan the Man Says:

It is great to have Azarenka back in the mix at the top of the women’s game. There especially need to be players capable of beating top players like Serena, and she proved again today she can do that. Still not quite there, but clay has always been her least favourite surface, and to play like that this tournament proves she’s back.

chris ford1 Says:

What I think are the two greatest puzzles in tennis are
1. Why Andy Murray sucks on clay so far. (Though his Hamburg win is his 1st so he may finally start playing up to his calibre as a player)
2. Why Vika Azarenka, a strong 6 footer with elite athlete speed and hand-eye coordination, still sucks at serving.

As we see, with Azarenka’s really needed return to tennis, a player Serena’s equal in other measures and one capable of beating her – still sucks on serve. Too bad. I was hoping she and her team would have worked while she had the foot injury to work on her serve mechanics sans the push-off element and waited for the foot healing to work on her whole motion.

Serena has hurt the WTA. No fault of her own, but it really isn’t a competitive sport with her tedious dominance. Her fans can glory in worshipping The Queen, but a healthy pro sport needs competitive rivals. It won’t be the erratic Klitova unless lightning strikes and she can keep it together at a big event through 7 matches. (Same with Sabine). It won’t be the defensive ‘energizer bunny” Wozniacki. It won’t be the aging Stosur who had a one-time big upset of Serena long ago, same with Doormatapova. Nor the gifted but mentally fragile beauty Ana unless she sorts herself out which she hasn’t managed to do since her one great year back in 2008. Radwanska can thrill with her shots, but then it’s bye bye Aga when she faces a power player. HAlep? She is still improving and does better against power players than Radwanska, but has her own power deficit.

Rich Says:


Please explain to me why people on the Internet have to get personal and nasty??? Do Internet people become juveniles when logging on, or do juveniles only log on to the Internet???

I described Radwanska as “…slight, light, under-powered pure baseliner with no propensity for net rushing, a weak serve, and no physical presence.”

What part of the above is inaccurate, and which part is “insulting”???

And regarding your analysis, how do Radwanska’s “hot shots” make her decision to hire Navratilova a good one???

Margot Says:

It’s either Lisiki or Errani, can never remember which lol, who has the weirdest service action I’ve ever seen. Whenever I see it, I wonder why on earth some coach hasn’t sorted it out already.
I really like Vika, shame she choked. She needs a reliable 2nd serve.
I also like Caroline Garcia. She gave Maria a very tough match. Only 21. Can see her in the top 10.

ckr Says:

@Margot – It has to be Errani. Lisiki has one of the best serve motions and the serve in the WTA now.

Pity for Vika. That is the aura Serena has. It is not easy to even think that you can beat Serena.

Margot Says:

Cheers ckr :) The serve is so strange, both her legs seem to go in opposite directions!
Vika got 5-1 in the first set tie. Then lost it. Think she might have doubled there.
I see Nick is causing Fed more probs than I thought.

KatH Says:

Talking about weird serves – Marion Bartoli used to alarm me – I thought she might forget she was supposed to hit the ball…….
apart from that, I was really delighted when she won Wimbledon –

Top story: French Champions Swiatek, Krejcikova Cruise at Tokyo Olympics; Osaka, Barty Set For Debuts