As expected, 4th seed Venus Williams has advanced to the final of the Mutua Madrilena Madrid Open. Today in the semifinals, she easily defeated Shahar Peer, 6-3, 6-0, to set up a final match against Aravane Rezai. Rezai won her match against Lucie Safarova when Safarova, suffering from a left thigh strain, retired after the first set. Rezai won that set 6-1.
Williams and Rezai have played each other only twice, both matches were played in 2007, and both matches were played on clay. Williams defeated Rezai in straight sets in the first round at Amelie Island, and Rezai defeated Williams in straight sets in the third round in Istanbul.
This has the makings of a really good final. Both women hit hard off the ground, Williams is a very good volleyer, and she is certainly the better mover. If she can move Rezai around a lot, she has an advantage. Rezai hits flat and goes for broke. If she senses the weakening of Williams' forehand, she will waste no time exploiting it. The Frenchwoman's hitting has become more and more explosive. Against a player like Williams, will that work for her or against her?