Petra Kvitova continues to demonstrate while she is one of the favourites to take the title in the Caja Mágica for the fourth time in her career. The second seed saw off Kristina Mladenovic 6-3, 7-6(5).
Kvitova, the only player to have won more than one WTA title this season, did not give an inch to Mladenovic, who reached the main draw after coming through the qualifying rounds. The Czech player now awaits the winner of the clash between the Romanian Sorana Cirstea and French player Caroline Garcia.
Earlier, also in the Manolo Santana Stadium, US player Sloane Stephens maintained her solid start to this Mutua Madrid Open. The tournament’s eighth seed reached the last sixteen by beating one of the form players coming into the Caja Mágica, the Belarusian Victoria Azarenka 6-4, 2-6, 6-2.
Stephens pounced upon a serving mistake from ‘Vika’ in the tenth game of the first set to take it 6-4. The Belarusian came out like a force of nature in the second, which she eventually won 2-6. The third and decisive set was very tight, with both players well aware of what was at stake. But in the end the North American justified her ranking against a determined Azarenka to seal the final set 6-2. Stephens’ opponent in the last sixteen will be the victor of the tie between Frenchwoman Alizé Cornet and the Chinese Saisai Zheng.
For her part, Kiki Bertens was the first player to reach the third round of the Mutua Madrid Open after defeating Jelena Ostapenko 6-4, 6-3. In the match that opened the day in the Arantxa Sánchez Stadium, the 7th seed’s experience showed against an Ostapenko who played well but was unable to see off the Dutch player. In the last sixteen, Bertens will meet another Latvian in 12th seed Anastasija Sevastova.
Australian player Ashleigh Barty completed a clean sweep for the seeds in their second round matches. The 9th seed beat US player Danielle Collins 6-1, 1-6, 6-1. Barty will be bidding for a place in the quarter-finals against Kazakhstani player Yulia Putintseva.
Other results from the day’s play:
 Anastasija Sevastova (LAT) df. Mihaela Buzarnescu (ROM) 6-3, 6-4
Yulia Putintseva (KAZ) df. Pauline Parmentier (FRA) 6-4, 4-6, 6-3