Nadal marches into Madrid semis, Serena, Sharapova shocked| MENAFN.COM

Saturday, 02 July 2022 04:09 GMT

Nadal marches into Madrid semis, Serena, Sharapova shocked

(MENAFN- The Peninsula) Serena Williams's stunning 27-match winning streak was snapped in resounding fashion by Petra Kvitova yesterday as the Czech progressed to the Madrid Open final 6-2, 6-3.

Kvitova will face Russia's Svetlana Kuznetsova in today's final after she also pulled off a big upset in beating defending champion Maria Sharapova 6-2, 6-4.

However, there was no such upset for home favourite and four-time champion Rafael Nadal as he moved into the semi-finals with a 6-3, 6-4 win over Grigor Dimitrov.

Kvitova has only recently returned to the tour following a two-month break after admitting to feeling physically and mentally exhausted, but she looked the fresher player in wrapping up victory in just over an hour on court.

After a tight start, Wimbledon champion Kvitova reeled off four consecutive games from 2-2 to take the first set.

Kvitova then stormed into an apparently unassailable 5-1 lead in the second. However, Williams had battled back from three match points down against Victoria Azarenka on Wednesday and ensured a nervy end for Kvitova by getting one of the breaks back to close to 5-3.

Yet, there was to be no repeat of the 19-time Grand Slam champion's heroics earlier in the week as Kvitova broke again on her first match point to seal her first victory over Williams in six attempts.

Kuznetsova also kept her fairytale return to form going as she scored her first victory over Sharapova in seven years to reach her first premier mandatory final since 2009. Defending champion Sharapova was the heavy favourite to reach the final for a third consecutive year with the 29-year-old Kuznetsova having spent nearly six hours on court in the past two days to reach the last four.

However, it was the two-time Grand Slam champion who dictated from the off and didn't drop her serve once throughout the match.

Nadal had warned that his form on the clay after failing to win a title since the European season began in Monte Carlo and Barcelona would be put to the test by Dimitrov and the Spaniard looked back to his old self on his favoured surface. The world number four constantly put the Dimitrov serve under pressure as he had break points on every one of the Bulgarian's service games in the first set and converted three of them.

Dimitrov went up an early break in the second, but Nadal roared back to win five of the last six games and set up a semi-final meeting with Czech Republic's Tomas Berdych.

Sixth seed Berdych saved a match point in the second set before seeing off giant American 16th seed John Isner 3-6, 7-6 (9/7), 7-6 (7/1).

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