Williams sets up Azarenka final

Both players secure straight-set wins to reach Madrid Open final where Azarenka will aim for fifth title of the season.

    Williams sets up Azarenka final
    Last year's runner-up Azarenka has now beaten third-ranked Radwanska six times in six meetings this season [EPA]

    Serena Williams will meet top-ranked Victoria Azarenka in the final of the Madrid Open after both players dispensed with their rivals in straight sets on Saturday.

    Williams beat Lucie Hradecka 7-6 (5), 6-0 on the blue-clay court and Azarenka ousted fourth-seeded Agnieszka Radwanska 6-2, 6-4.

    The ninth-ranked Williams edged out the tenacious Czech to play for her second title of the season. Azarenka has won four tournaments so far this season.

    Decisive win

    Williams struggled with her serve in the first set that she won in a tiebreaker. She then broke Hradecka three times in the second to cruise to her 12th consecutive win on clay this season.

    The 105th-ranked Hradecka defending champion Petra Kvitova and US Open winner Sam Stosur to reach the semi-finals.

    Azarenka was in good form and had little trouble beating Radwanska for the sixth straight time.

    Azarenka hit a deep return to set up a slam and break her Polish opponent's first service game, and went on to hit 14 winners and held for love to wrap up the first set. The players traded a pair of breaks in the second set before Azarenka, the runner-up last year, won a decisive third break with a crosscourt return.

    "I'm really happy. All the top players are here and I'm in the final and looking forward to it,'' said the 22-year-old Belarusian.

    "(Radwanska and I) keep meeting each other. I'm glad to win today. The score maybe wasn't so close, but it was a good match.''

    In the men's semi-finals, Roger Federer will face Janko Tipsarevic, and Tomas Berdych will play Juan Martin del Potro later on Saturday.

    SOURCE: AP


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