Madrid, Spain (Sports Network) - Reigning champion Serena Williams went the distance in order to win her quarterfinal match, while Maria Sharapova had an easier time reaching the semifinals at the $4 million Madrid Open, a clay- court French Open tune-up.
The world No. 1 Williams barely got past Spanish wild card Anabel Medina Garrigues, 6-3, 0-6, 7-5, in 2 hours, 14 minutes at The Magic Box. Medina Garrigues lost despite recording more service breaks (5-4) than the American superstar on Friday.
The Wimbledon and U.S. Open champion Williams beat Victoria Azarenka in last year's marquee Madrid finale.
Meanwhile, the second-seeded former No. 1 and reigning French Open titlist Sharapova stayed hot by handling Estonian slugger Kaia Kanepi 6-2, 6-4 on Day 7 in the Spanish capital.
Sharapova is seeking her second title in two events, having recently run the table in Stuttgart.
Williams and Sharapova could clash in a blockbuster final on Sunday.