Madrid: Serena Williams will meet top-ranked Victoria Azarenka in the final of the Madrid Open after both players dispensed with their opponents in straight sets on Saturday.
Williams beat qualifier Lucie Hradecka 7-6 (5), 6-0 on the new blue-clay court after Azarenka ousted fourth seed Agnieszka Radwanska 6-2, 6-4.
The ninth-ranked Williams edged the tenacious Czech to have a shot at her second title of the season. Azarenka has won four tournaments this year.
Williams holds a 6-1 head-to-head record against Azarenka, whose only win came in 2009. This will be the first time they meet on clay.
"She's one of the best players in the world and one of the toughest opponents to play against so we'll see," Azarenka said. "But as I said, it's going to be a different story."
While both Rafael Nadal and Novak Djokovic promised to never play again on the blue clay, neither women's star saw their big-hitting style overly hampered by the surface many players have called slippery.
Williams held off Hradecka's seven early aces in a first set, which she won in a tiebreaker. She then broke Hradecka three times in the second to cruise to her 12th consecutive win on clay this season.
The 105th-ranked Hradecka had upset defending champion Petra Kvitova and U.S. Open winner Sam Stosur to reach the semifinals.