Maria Sharapova saved a match point to beat Li Na in the Italian Open final on Sunday after a two-hour rain break effectively turned the match into a tiebreak shootout.
Ailing Briton Andy Murray suffered another setback to his French Open preparations as he was ousted 6-7 6-3 6-2 by Richard Gasquet in the third round of the Rome Masters on Thursday.
An aching Roger Federer made a seamless transition from slick blue clay to the slower red dirt on Wednesday as he saw off Carlos Berlocq of Argentina 6-3 6-4 to reach the third round of the Rome Masters.
World number one Victoria Azarenka suffered a blow to her French Open preparations when she was forced to pull out of the Italian Open with a right shoulder injury.
A fired-up Serena Williams sent out a warning to the young pretenders of women's tennis when she powered to a crushing 6-1 6-3 victory over world number one Victoria Azarenka to win the Madrid Open.
Roger Federer left a lasting impression on the Madrid Open's controversial blue claycourt when the Swiss maestro ground out a thrilling 3-6 7-5 7-5 victory over Czech Tomas Berdych to match Rafa Nadal's record of 20 Masters titles on Sunday.
Serena Williams blew away fellow former number one Maria Sharapova 6-1 6-3 to join top seed Victoria Azarenka in the semi-finals at the Madrid Open on Friday.
Novak Djokovic's frustration with the controversial blue clay at the Madrid Masters reached new heights after the world number one was beaten 7-6 6-3 by fellow Serb Janko Tipsarevic in the quarter-finals on Friday.
Chinese tennis star Li Na bowed out of the Madrid Open after losing 6-3, 3-6, 3-6 to top seed Victoria Azarenka in a thrilling quarter-final which lasted just five minutes short of two hours.
Serena Williams overcame a lethargic start to upset fellow former world number one Caroline Wozniacki at the Madrid Open on Thursday and set up a quarter-final meeting with old foe Maria Sharapova.
Rafa Nadal suffered his first claycourt defeat in 23 matches on Thursday and threatened to boycott next year's Madrid Open if officials did not ditch the blue clay that players have labelled "too slippery" and only fit for "smurfs (to) play on".
Roger Federer had to use all his guile and experience to battle back from a set down and see off fast-rising Canadian Milos Raonic 4-6 7-5 7-6 in the Madrid Open second round on Wednesday.