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WTA Tennis • Madrid Results Mixed Bag For Ladies Seeds At 2019 Mutua Madrid Open

Garbine Muguruza of Spain in action during her first round match against Petra Martic of Croatia at the Mutua Madrid Open tennis tournament, in Madrid, Spain, 05 May 2019. EPA-EFE/KIKO HUESCA
Garbine Muguruza of Spain in action during her first round match against Petra Martic of Croatia at the Mutua Madrid Open tennis tournament, in Madrid, Spain, 05 May 2019. EPA-EFE/KIKO HUESCA

 

 

By: Thomas Cluck

 

A massive, action-packed first round draw made for crazy play This week end inside the Caja Magica at the Mutua Madrid Open, with a box truly full of surprises for the seeded women of the WTA.

 

With a jam-packed draw at this WTA Premier Mandatory event featuring 14 of the top 15 players in the world, it was one and done for seven of the 16 seeds in the Spanish capital, crashing out in a first round of seeded carnage amidst the unique, challenging conditions of the Madrid with its high altitude, quick courts, and lower-bouncing clay courts.

 

On a WTA Tour that has made headlines in 2019 with its incredible variety of winners week in and week out this season, with Petra Kvitova just a week ago becoming the only woman to win multiple titles this year, the trademark depth of the tour was on display in some very challenging first rounders for the seeds in Madrid.

 

World number one Naomi Osaka who is looking to maintain her top ranking this week in Madrid- survived a potentially tough first round affair against 2016 finalist Dominika Cibulkova, claiming her first career win in the Spanish capital 6-2, 7-6 Sunday inside Manolo Santana Stadium.

 

The hot hand on tour and defending champion Kvitova kicked off her title defense and quest for trophy number four at the Caja Magica on Saturday, strutting past American teenager Sofia Kenin 6-1, 6-4 under the Spanish night sky. Another player quite comfortable in Madrid, two-time champion and three seed Simona Halep was right back at home at one of her favorite tournaments, owned by her friend and Romanian great Ion Tiriac, making light work of talented Russian Margarita Gasparyan 6-0, 6-4 on Sunday.

 

Ukraine's Elina Svitolina in action during her first round match against France's Pauline Parmentier at the Mutua Madrid Open tennis tournament, in Madrid, Spain, 05 May 2019. EPA-EFE/CHEMA MOYA

Ukraine’s Elina Svitolina in action during her first round match against France’s Pauline Parmentier at the Mutua Madrid Open tennis tournament, in Madrid, Spain, 05 May 2019. EPA-EFE/CHEMA MOYA

By far the biggest name to go out this weekend was sixth seed Elina Svitolina, one of the best clay court players on tour, crashing out to France’s Pauline Parmentier 6-4, 7-6. Svitolina, who appeared to be battling a knee injury, has never played her best tennis in the unorthodox conditions of Madrid, instead having won the last two years the following week in Rome.

 

Former world number one and Australian Open champion Caroline Wozniacki didn’t fare any better in Madrid, an event she has struggled at in the past. Her body was tired out. (She has rheumatoid arthritis.)

 

Spain’s star and hope Garbiñe Muguruza. The 11th seeded Wozniacki looked in terrible back pain against Alize Cornet, retiring after three games, while unseeded Muguruza’s Madrid woes continued, losing first round to an in-form Petra Martic- fresh off the Istanbul title- 7-5, 7-6.

 

The most dramatic match of opening weekend at the Mutua Madrid Open came from big-serving Czech Karolina Pliskova, seeded fifth, escaping rising Ukrainian teenage star Dayana Yastremska 5-7, 7-6, 6-3 after saving four match points.

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