Friday action in Madrid actually started with news about inaction, i.e. Serena Williams inability to play the quarterfinal against Petra Kvitova, due to a left thigh injury sustained during her opener against Belinda Bencic. Still, the world No.1 is planning to get back to competition at the next week’s Internazionali BNL d’Italia. Kvitova’s semifinal opponent will be Simona Halep, who cruised past Ana Ivanovic 6-2 6-2. In the beginning of the match, Ivanovic actually looked set to continue her fine results, but the Romanian, who has recently joined Ivanovic in wearing Adidas, turned the tables by winning seven straight games.
In a clash of French Open champions, Maria Sharapova dug deep and found her way back from a set and a break down against Li Na, taking the second set in a tiebreak and the decider confidently, after going up a break early on, 2-6 7-6(5) 6-3. In the final quarterfinal of the day, we got Sharapova’s next opponent – Agnieszka Radwanska, who grinded out a 6-4 4-6 6-4 victory over Caroline Garcia. The underdog in this match, Garcia surely showed her skills, scoring as much as 55 winners, including 11 aces, compared to Radwanska’s more modest 30 winners and five aces (both had good winners-to-unforced errors differentials: Garcia +13, Radwanska +15).