People who saw Julia Goerges play (I didn't) in the third round of the Madrid Open said she looked pretty tired. She wasn't too tired to defeat Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova in the quarterfinals, however. Goerges' 6-4, 6-2 victory places her in the semifinals against 4th seed Victoria Azarenka. In the last two months, Azarenka has either retired from events or won them. She had to retire in the quarterfinals of Indian Wells because of a hip injury (an ongoing problem), and she retired with a shoulder injury in the second round in Stuttgart. Azarenka won titles in Miami and Marbella.
To get to the semifinals, Azarenka defeated Lucie Safarova 6-3, 3-6, 6-2. The Belarusian is now 6-0 against Safarova, who took her first set off of Azarenka today.
Li Na--who has never been known for her performance on clay, and who had experienced quite a downfall since her big Australian Open run--is somewhat of a surprise semifinalist, despite being seeded 6th. Li defeated Bethanie Mattek-Sands 6-4, 3-6, 6-4. Mattek-Sands gave Li a lot of opposition, but then was easil broken at love in the final game.
Li's opponent will be Petra Kvitova, the 16th seed. Kvitova is a bit of a surprise, too, in that one might not expect her to perform at a high level on red clay. But she defeated a very good clay performer, Dominika Cibulkova, 3-6, 6-3, 7-5. Kvitova is just full of surprises, however, and I look forward to seeing what the next one will be.
Azarenka and her partner, Maria Kirilenko, seeded 5th in doubles, defeated the 3rd seeds, Vania King and Yaroslava Shvedova, in today's semifinals. Their opponents in the Madrid final will be 2nd seeds Kveta Peschke and Katarina Srebotnik. Peschke and Srebotnik defeated Casey Dellacqua and Rennae Stubbs 6-1, 4-6, 10-2.