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 qualifier Lucie Hradecka 7-6 (5), 6-0 on the new blue-clay court after Azarenka ousted fourth seed Agnieszka Radwanska 6-2, 6-4.
The ninth-ranked Williams edged the tenacious Czech to have a shot at her second title of the season. Azarenka has already won four tournaments this year.
After an even first set that featured a slew of big serves and netted returns, Williams eventually managed to win the tiebreaker after squandering two set points.
The former No. 1 broke Hradecka's first three service games of the second set to cruise to her 12th consecutive win on clay this season. The 105th-ranked Hradecka had upset defending champion Petra Kvitova and U.S. Open winner Sam Stosur to reach the semifinals.
Azarenka had little trouble beating Radwanska for the sixth straight time.
Azarenka hit a deep return t...