The players now know their route to the final of the Mutua Madrid Open. A total of 64 players will be giving their all on the Caja Mágica clay in search of one of the most coveted prizes on the circuit
The top part of the draw has thrown up some attractive clashes on the opening day, a real privilege for lovers of the women’s game.
Agnieszka Radwanska, the tournament’s top seed, will face one of the most explosive first-round matches as she takes on the Slovakian Dominika Cibulkova; two Grand Slam champions head to head to delight the fans in the Caja Mágica. This promises to be an exciting first-round match in a branch of the draw that includes great clay players such as Svetlana Kuznetsova, Jelena Jankovic and Sara Errani, among others, all of whom are expected to reach the quarters.
A previous champion and a two-time finalist stand out in the second part of the draw. The Belarussian Victoria Azarenka, who reached the final in 2011 and 2012, will open against Laura Robson in a mouth-watering tie. For her part, defending champion Petra Kvitova will start her campaign against Lara Arruabarrena in a section of the draw that is packed with young talent, including players of the quality of Jelena Ostapenko, the Australian Daria Gavrilova and Ukrainian player Elina Svitolina.
In a very balanced looking draw, the lower half also offers plenty of talent. Garbiñe Muguruza and Simona Halep head part of the draw where the route to the semis looks like a demanding one. The Caracas native will start her campaign against the Slovakian Anna Carolina Schmiedlova, while the Romanian’s tournament will get underway against Misaki Doi. Their branch includes players such as Andrea Petkovic, Eugenie Bouchard and Timea Bacsinszky.
The final sector of the draw is further proof of the difficulty of this tournament. Two clay-court specialists in Carla Suárez and Angelique Kerber look like the main candidates here to make it to the tournament’s final round. The Canary Islander gets started against Timea Babos, while the German’s opener pits her against Barbora Strycova. This section promises to throw up some interesting stories with other standout players such as Sam Stosur and Lucie Safarova, two players who have proven their worth the surface.
Tough task for the Spanish women
The Spanish contingent is faced with an interesting start in Madrid’s Caja Mágica. Paula Badosa, who received a wildcard from the organisers, will open her tournament against the French Alize Cornet. Tolosa native Lara Arruabarrena will have to take on defending champion Petra Kvitova no sooner has she arrived in the capital. Galician player Lourdes Domínguez faces a demanding opener against the Czech Carolina Pliskova, the tournament’s thirteenth seed. Finally, Sara Sorribes starts the event against Grand Slam winner Sam Stosur, one of the tour’s most respected players on clay.