2008 French Open champion Ana Ivanovic advanced to the Madrid semifinals today when she beat 6th seed Angelique Kerber 6-3, 6-1. Ivanovic hit 26 winners and made only 14 unforced errors. Is she "back"? Or was today's excellent performance just a "good day"?
Ivanovic will play Maria Sharapova in the semifinals. Sharapova defeated Kaia Kanepi 6-2, 6-4 in the quarterfinals. Sharapova won, of course, when she played Ivanovic in the semifinals in Stuttgart.
Also advancing was Sara Errani, who brought every bit of her clay court expertise against Ekaterina Makarova, defeating her 6-4, 6-3. Some of the rallies in this match were wonderful.
Finally, defending champion Serena Williams made it to the semifinals, but she took the long way around. Williams defeated clay veteran Anabel Medina Garrigues 6-3, 0-6, 7-5. That is a very rare scoreline for the world number 1, but these things happen now and then. Williams said later that she wasn't really sure what happened in the second set, but that she just wasn't herself. Medina Garrigues, by the way, came very close to having a couple of match points. Being close to a victory doesn't tend to mean that much, however, when Williams is on the other side of the net.
Competing in the doubles final will be the team of Cara Black and Marina Erakovic and the team of Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova and Lucie Safarova. Both teams are unseeded.