Kvitova opens her title defence with victory

Antonio Arenas Mutua News

Three-time Madrid champion, Petra Kvitova, demonstrated her desire to lift the Mutua Madrid Open title once more this afternoon in the Manolo Santana Stadium. The world no. 2 justified her status as favourite against US player Sofia Kenin, beating her 6-1, 6-4 after seventy seven minutes of play.

Kvitova was very focused from the outset, aware of the responsibility on her shoulders as the Madrid tournament’s most successful player. The Czech capitalised on her powerful service, producing 9 aces, giving her opponent little chance.

It was  player that lost the 2018 final to Kvitova, the Dutch Kiki Bertens, who had the honour of bringing the day’s play to a close in the Caja Mágica. The 7th seed saved the fans that packed the stands from a late night as she cruised through her Madrid opener against the Czech Katerina Siniakova in a little over an hour, 6-3, 6-2.
In the morning session, Belarusian player Victoria Azarenka continued her good form from recent weeks in her Caja Mágica opener. ‘Vika’ saw off 2018 quarter-finalist, the Russian Daria Kasatkina 7-5, 6-4 in one hour and forty-three minutes of play.

Earlier, Ashleigh Barty, the 9th seed, became the first player to reach the second round of the tournament by beating her compatriot Daria Gavrilova 6-1, 6-2. The all-Australian clash saw the 2019 Miami champion cash in on her power to dominate her way to victory in a little over an hour on her first visit to Madrid.

The Manolo Santana Stadium also bore witness to the first upset of the tournament. Veteran player Svetlana Kuznetsova, who was playing in the Mutua Madrid Open thanks to a wildcard from the organisers, saw off the Belarusian 10th seed Aryna Sabalenka in two sets, 7-5, 6-4. Kuznetsova, who reached the final in the Caja Mágica in 2015, will face the winner of the clash between the Swiss Belinda Bencic and the Belgian Alison Van Uytvanck in the second round

For her part, in the Arantxa Sánchez Stadium, Lithuania’s 2017 French Open champion Jelena Ostapenko enjoyed a strong start to her assault on the Madrid title. Ostapenko is looking to repeat the success she had on clay two seasons ago and she beat the Russian Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova 6-2, 6-1 after one hour of play.

Other first-round results in the women’s competition:

A. Sevastova (LET) df. K. Flipkens (BEL) 0-6, 6-3, 6-2

A. Sasnovich (BLR) df. A. Kontaveit (EST) 0-6, 6-3, 6-2

Y. Putintseva (KAZ) df. I. Begu (ROM) 6-4, 6-3

C. Garcia (FRA) df. S. Hsieh (TPE) 7-5, 6-2