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Madrid • Top-ranked Serena Williams outlasted Anabel Medina Garrigues 6-3, 0-6, 7-5 to reach the Madrid Open semifinals Friday.
Williams appeared to wear down against the scrappy Spaniard on the red clay court. After getting blanked in the second set, she fell behind 4-2 in the third.
But the defending champion rallied to break Medina Garrigues' serve twice to move on.
"It was definitely a battle," Williams said. "I obviously didn't do much in the second set and gave her confidence to play better."
Williams will next face either Sara Errani or Ekaterina Makarova.
Second-seeded Maria Sharapova had less trouble easing by Kaia Kanepi of Estonia 6-2, 6-4 to set up a semifinal with either Ana Ivanovic or Angelique Kerber.