Lucie Hradecka is known for her big serve. Today, in the Madrid Open quarterfinals, she used it to great advantage to upset 5th seed Sam Stosur 7-6, 7-6. Hradecka, who hit 19 aces (she generally hits 10 or more), was successful with both her first and second serves. Hradecka had already taken out Madrid defending champion Petra Kvitova. In the semifinals, Hradecka will play Serena Williams, who easily defeated Maria Sharapova in straight sets.
In the other semifinal, top seed Victoria Azarenka will once again play Agnieszka Radwanska. Azarenka defeated Li Na 3-6, 6-3, 6-3 in the quarterfinals. Radwanska fought off a spirited challenge from qualifier Varvara Lepchenko, beating her 6-4, 6-4. There were eight breaks of serve in that match.
In doubles, Sara Errani and Roberta Vinci beat Maria Kirilenko and Nadia Petrova, and Ekaterina Makarova and Elena Vesnina defeated the reunited (at least for now) team of Nuria Llagostera Vives and Maria Jose Martinez Sanchez.
Players continue to complain about the blue clay, not just because it's a different color from what they'll see at the French Open, but also, they say, because it's too slippery.