Roger Federer was back to his masterful best in Madrid, seeing off Thomas Berdych despite dropping the first set. (Image | Bleacher Report)

Roger Federer sent out a clear message to his rivals ahead of Wimbledon this summer by beating Thomas Berdych to win the Madrid Open. The Czech world number seven dominated the first set on the Spanish clay, making just two unforced errors, but you can never discount Federer.

The Swiss hadn’t played for six weeks and had already lost twice this year to Berdych, but was able to break his opponent’s serve in the second set and go on to snatch it. Federer’s win in Madrid was his fourth tournament victory this year, and victory at Roland-Garros could see the career Grand Slam winner surpass Pete Sampras’ record of 286 weeks as the world number one.

Meanwhile, in the women’s final, Serena Williams laid down her title credentials for the French Open as well, in another throwback to history, thanks to a straight sets victory over Victoria Azarenka. Williams’ was yet to play in Europe this year, and on her first appearance, such a commanding win, and that extended the American’s winning streak to 13 matches, sends out a clear message to the world number one. Azarenka was outplayed in every way by the 27 time Grand Slam winner, who last picked one of these up in 2010, and the result saw Williams climb up to sixth in the world ahead.

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