WTA @MutuaMadridOpen: Rest of Tournament Preview
Niall Clarke, Tennis Atlantic
The opening round of the women’s Mutua Madrid Open has been completed. With many upsets including the top two seeds both bowing out, what does the rest of the tournament have in store?
The early exits of Radwanska and Roberta Vinci has left this section of the draw wide open. There are no seeded players left with Svetlana Kuznetsova and Sara Errani also upset victims. Dominka Cibulkova, who conquered Radwanska, will meet talented Frenchwoman Caroline Garcia in round two. Camila Giorgi will face Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova to meet the winner.
Laura Siegemund continued her good form by defeating last years finalist, Kuznetsova. Mirjana Lucic-Baroni will provide a stern test as she is in good form after coming through qualifying. Sorana Cirstea or Danka Kovinic await the winner.
Victoria Azarenka managed to avoid the trend by defeating Laura Robson in straight sets. Vika will now face France’s Alize Cornet in round two who is coming back to form after an injury plagued start to the season. American interest will be with Luisa Chirico who faces former world number one Ana Ivanovic. The qualifier notched up an impressive win over Monica Niculescu in the first round.
Defending Champion, Petra Kvitova, still has a long way to go to defend her title, but she got off to a good start with a straight sets victory in the first round. On Tuesday she faces Elena Vesnina, who has looked to have improved her form so far this year. Elina Svitolina vs Daria Gavrilova will no doubt be a feisty contest, and the winner could meet Kvitova in the third round.
The bottom half of the draw did not see as many top seeded casualties as the top half, but it did lose the second seed, Kerber. Barbora Strycova was able to defeat the Australian Open Champion in straight sets to set up a second round showdown with Madison Keys. Another American, Sloane Stephens, will look to take advantage of Kerber’s exit and faces Particia Tig.
Carla Suarez Navarro survived a scare from Timea Babos to make the second round. The Spaniard meets Sabine Lisicki, who was impressive against Monica Puig in the last round. Lucie Safarova continued her good form with a straight sets win over CoCo Vandeweghe and will face Sam Stosur in round two.
Garbine Muguruza was able to come through in straight sets against Anna Schmiedlova. The Spanish number one now faces Irina Begu, who needed three sets to defeat Eugenie Bouchard. Karolina Pliskova and Christina McHale will face each other to meet the winner in the third round.
Simona Halep had no issues dispatching Misaki Doi in the first round, so you would expect Karin Knapp to give the Romanian a bigger test in the second. Ekaterina Makarova vs Timea Bacsinszky is one of the more intriguing second round clashes with the winner potentially facing Simona Halep.
Siegemund def. Garcia
Azarenka def. Kvitova
Muguruza def. Halep
Suarez Navarro def. Strycova
Azarenka def. Siegemund
Muguruza def. Suarez Navarro
Azarenka def. Muguruza
With the draw so wide open it is difficult to make a prediction, but a Azarenka vs Muguruxa final seems likely. The Belarusian is the best player in her section and should dispatch the surprise semi finalist. Muguruza will overpower Suarez Navarro in the other semi final, but the pressure of winning at home may take it’s toll against the more experienced Azarenka.