Madrid - World number one Serena Williams's 27-match unbeaten run ended with a
6-2 6-3 defeat by Petra Kvitova in the Madrid Open semi-finals on
Czech Kvitova will face Svetlana Kuznetsova in the final after she surprisingly knocked out defending champion Maria Sharapova.
had not lost since October but her mood appeared negative and she was
slow around the court against fourth seed Kvitova who broke the
American's first service game and never looked back.
Kvitova broke serve three times in the first set and there was little resistance in the second set from a despondent Williams.
was a setback for Williams who won in Madrid in 2012 and 2013, and this
was her first claycourt tournament of the season as she prepares for
the French Open looking to win her 20th grand slam title.
"I have never beaten her before on court and so it is a special moment for me," Kvitova told reporters.
"I am just happy to be in the final and I know it will be a tough game now against Kuznetsova who beat me last year on clay."
Sharapova crashed out after failing to match the solid hitting of unseeded Kuznetsova who won 6-2 6-4.
looked tense from the start against her fellow Russian, whose
consistency from the back of the court helped her break twice to win the
Sharapova came to the tournament in poor form and
struggled to get through her previous two matches in the Spanish capital
with Caroline Garcia and Caroline Wozniacki taking her to three sets.
failed to convert a break point at 2-1 in the second set and lost her
serve in the following game. The Russian battled hard to win her next
service games but went down 6-4.
"I was serving well and fighting for the points," Kuznetsova told reporters.
"I am enjoying the games at the moment and just happy to be in the final."
is a former grand slam winner at the US Open and Roland Garros but
has struggled to reach those heights in recent years and is now ranked
29th in the world.
In the men's tournament Rafa Nadal faces 10th
seed Grigor Dimitrov in the quarter-finals as he continues his bid for a
third consecutive Madrid title.
Second seed Andy Murray meets fifth-seeded Milos Raonic.