Azarenka and Williams set up final clash at the Madrid Open

By Lisa-Marie Burrows

Mutua Madrid Open, Madrid – World No.1 Victoria Azarenka recorded her sixth victory this year against Agnieszka Radwanska 6-2, 6-4 to progress to her sixth final this year where she will meet Serena Williams after she defeated qualifier Lucie Hradecka 7-6, 6-0.

The Belarusian has reached the final for the second year running, which saw her miss out on the title last year to Petra Kvitova and will be looking to go one step further tomorrow and lift the title for the first time and record her 7th title victory this year.

During her 6-2 6-4 defeat over Agnieszka Radwanska, the 22 year old struck 29 winners and looked confident during her encounter on the Manolo Santana court.  She was able to dominate rallies and had great movement around the court, comfortably covering all areas. The Australian Open champion was out on court for only 79 minutes and sealed the match with a drop shot on her second match point.

Azarenka: "Put it in the headline 'I don't read draws.'"

During the press conference Victoria Azarenka was pleased with her performance and said that she feels she has been performing well. With the Rome Masters 1000 Series just around the corner Azarenka was informed of her draw and that she has another potential clash with the Agnieszka Radwanska, much to the horror of the world No.1 she said she didn’t want to know, as she never likes to know her draw in advance.

She had a special request for the journalists in the press room:

“Put it in the headline: I DON’T READ THE DRAW!”

In the clash she has set up with Serena Williams, she is aware that she will be a tough opponent, but the times that she had played against her before, she was ‘much younger.’

“She is one of the best players in the world, one of the toughest to play against. It is the first time I play her on clay.”

The second semi final of the day saw American Serena Williams taken to a tie-break in the first set of her game against Czech qualifier and world No.105 Lucie Hradecka.

The first set proved to be challenging for the world no.9 as they both went toe-to-toe during their rallies and big serves were fired on court. Williams eventually took the first set on her third set point.

Serena Williams has fought her way to No.6 in the world.

The second set was less competitive as the former world No.1 marched through the games, breaking Hradecka three times for a convincing 7-6 (7-5) 6-0 victory.
I informed Serena Williams during her press conference that she will now be world No.6 and with her arms raised she threw her head back and said:

“Get out! Yessss! I have reached my goal. I didn’t think I’d reach it. I’ve been working really hard but I don’t want to stop at No.6 obviously, I want to keep continuing on to do better.”

Going into the final tomorrow Serena feels she has ‘nothing to lose’ and will give it everything out there to win.

Lisa-Marie Burrows is currently in Madrid covering the Mutua Madrid Open and will be at the Rome Masters next week. Catch her as a regular contributor for and on Twitter: @TennisNewsViews.