Serena Williams routed Maria Sharapova to reach the Madrid Open semifinals on Friday, but insisted she has no intention of joining Rafael Nadal and Novak Djokovic in their blue clay boycott threat.
The American ninth seed cruised to a 6-1, 6-3 quarterfinal win over second-seeded Sharapova, the recent Stuttgart champion, hitting 11 aces, 28 winners and enjoying five breaks of serve in 80 minutes.
Williams said that while the blue clay courts remain problematic, the issue was not enough to make her consider skipping the event in 2013 as Nadal and Djokovic have threatened to do.
"Djokovic is still in the event and so is Roger (Federer), last time I checked. If I'm not here next year, it won't be because of the clay. But Djokovic lost 7-6 (7/2), 6-3 to Serbian compatriot Janko Tipsarevic, his quarter-final defeat coming a day after world number two Rafael Nadal had lost to fellow Spaniard Fernando Verdasco in the third round.
The promoter of the tournament, Ion Tiriac, promised to make desired changes to the playing surface by the next edition after many players expressed displeasure
"It's true it's slippery, but the clay won't be like this next year," he said, without specifying whether or not the organizers would improve the blue or return to the traditional red clay, which is used on the rest of the European clay-court circuits.
However, he made a call for Nadal and Djokovic to be professional in their decision.