Serena Williams will continue her quest to regain the Mutua Madrid Open title when she takes on Petra Kvitova in the semi-finals on Friday.
Williams holds the undefeated 5-0 record against the 2014 Wimbledon champion, although this will be their first meeting on clay.
After saving three match points to ultimately overcome Victoria Azarenka in the third round, Williams was back to her dominant ways as she kept her undefeated streak alive against Carla Suarez Navarro in the quarterfinals.
Williams defeated the Spaniard relatively convincingly in straight sets 6-1, 6-3, which effectively marked her 50th win in a row at Premier Mandatory events.
“I learned a lot from yesterday,” Williams said referring to her match against Azarenka.
“I just really have to stay focused. I had a lot of opportunities in that match – I probably should have closed it out in two sets. But Victoria, she’s really such a great fighter. Still, I had an opportunity to stay calm and win a few points here and there.
“I approach everything as I want to do the best that I can.
”I’m so determined for every single point. If I lost the match, it’s okay, as long as I know I gave the best I could on that day.
“That’s all I can do. That’s all I can do.”
She is now set for another challenge to maintain her winning streak against Kvitova. Kvitova is continuing her comeback in Madrid, after she took multiple months off playing earlier in the season due to exhaustion. She attempted to return to action in Stuttgart late last month, although she was ousted in the opening round against Madison Brengle. On the contrary, she advanced into the Madrid semi-finals after she edged Irina Camelia-Begu in straight sets 7-5, 6-3.
Similarly to Williams, Kvitova is also a former champion in Madrid, after she triumphed in 2011. She suffered disappointing results in the years following, however she bounced back to reach the semi-finals once again last year.
Williams has typically enjoyed more consistent successful results at the Caja Magica, but that’s not to say this is a definite victory for her. Kvitova is well rested, so that could either work to her advantage or disadvantage as she lacks the momentum she would have otherwise had.
“Now of course I feel better as before for sure. I am enjoying more and more focus on the points. I really can stay in the match, still fight back, and that’s I think why I did it, to be here again and really enjoy it,” Kvitova said, referring to the time she took off playing earlier in the season.
“Of course playing Serena is a nice challenge,” she continued.
“It’s been a long time since I played her. She’s a champion, and it’s a really good challenge to see where I am with Grand Slams coming up.”
The winner is set to face either Maria Sharapova or Svetlana Kuznetsova in the final on Saturday.