- Madrid Open
Serena made to work for Errani win
Serena Williams overcame a slow and inconsistent start to power past Sara Errani and book her place in the Madrid Open final.
The world No. 1 made a string of errors early in the match and was muttering to herself while working on repeated practice drills. But despite twice being a break ahead, Errani could not convert and Williams roared back to claim a 7-5 6-2 win.
With Williams a little slow out of the blocks, Errani was able to craft an early break of serve. Williams broke back in the sixth game but inconsistency continued to plague the American and Errani broke for a second time in the seventh game.
Williams hit back to break back immediately and at 6-5, she went on the attack. Hitting powerfully and advancing to the net, she forced errors from Errani but converting the set was far from plain sailing.
On her first set point, Williams sent a smash wide of the sideline and a second came and went when she threw a forehand into the tramlines.
But at the third time of asking, Williams got the job done. And she let out a roar of delight when a brilliant forehand crosscourt caught the line for a clean winner.
Taking the set appeared to free up Williams and she raced through the second to book her place in the final before the midday heat really kicked in in the Spanish capital.
Event organisers got the final they craved as No. 2 seed Maria Sharapova saw off Ana Ivanovic 6-4 6-3 to book a meeting with Williams.