>> Saturday, May 12, 2012
It's going to be a blockbuster women's singles final at the 2012 Mutua Madrid Open as world no. 1 Victoria Azarenka and 13-time Grand Slam champion Serena Williams advanced to the championship match on Sunday. The women's singles finals will be watched live online starting 1.30 pm local time here. In a tournament where heavy criticism has centered on the blue clay used for the venue, and where the men's draw saw upsets that eliminated the top two ranked players, Azarenka and Williams advanced through straight set victories to set-up their eighth career match.
Top-seeded Azarenka advanced in the first semi-final eliminating world no. 3 Agnieszka Radwanska with a 62 64 victory. It was the pair's sixth meeting this year with Azarenka winning all their matches. Azarenka improved to 11-3 against Poland's no. 1 player and now advanced to her second straight clay court final of the year. Azarenka lost to world no. 2 Maria Sharapova in the finals of the Stuttgart tennis tournament. After winning the Australian Open in January and rising to the top ranking, Azarenka is currently the player to beat in the WTA this season winning four titles and losing just twice.
Serena had a tough first set in eliminating the tournament's surprise package in Czech Lucie Hradecka before finally advancing with a 76(5) 60 victory. Hradecka surprised even herself this week beating two top 10 players and current Grand Slam champions Petra Kvitova and Sam Stosur in back-to-back matches to advance to the semifinals for the first time. She gave Serena trouble with her big serves in the first set but it was all Serena in the second set to allow the American to reach her first final in Madrid.
Like Azarenka, Serena is through to her second straight finals in a clay court tennis tournament. Serena won the Charleston title last month held in green clay, and will be attempting to add the blue clay title for her second trophy of the year. Serena and Azarenka have met seven times previously with Serena winning six of those matches. The only time Azarenka beat Serena was in the 2009 Miami final where Serena was struggling with an injury. This final will be their first match-up on clay and first match this year.
HEAD TO HEAD SERIES: Serena vs Azarenka
2008 AUSTRALIAN OPEN HARD R32 S.Williams 6-3 6-4
2009 AUSTRALIAN OPEN HARD R16 S.Williams 3-6 4-2 w.draw.
2009 MIAMI HARD F V. Azarenka 6-3 6-1
2009 WIMBLEDON GRASS Q S.Williams 6-2 6-3
2010 AUSTRALIAN OPEN HARD Q S.Williams 4-6 7-6(4) 6-2
2011 TORONTO HARD S S.Williams 6-3 6-3
2011 US OPEN HARD R32 S.Williams 6-1 7-6(5)
Watch the Mutua Madrid Open 2012 women's singles final live online featuring Serena vs Azarenka.