Kvitova, Badosa and Carla and Garbiñe are among the stars of the standout moments in the 2015 WTA tournament.
Before the 2016 season gets underway, Manolo Santana and Dinara Safina have selected the five most significant moments of the Premier Mandatory held in the Caja Mágica this year: from Kvitova’s title to the arrival of Badosa, including a second doubles final for Carla and Garbiñe. These were the highlights of the WTA tournament.
- Kvitova’s second crown
After winning the title in 2011, the Czech managed to repeat the feat at the Mutua Madrid Open by defeating Svetlana Kuznetsova, one of the surprise packages of the tournament, in the final. Previously, Kvitova saw off Serena Williams in the semi-finals, a significant victory because until then the US player had won all 24 matches played in 2014, arriving in Madrid after an unbeaten start to 2015. Having left Olga Govortsova, Coco Vandeweghe, Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova, Irina-Camelia Begu, the younger Williams sister and Kuznetsova in her wake, Kvitova equalled Serena as the player with the most titles (two) in the third Premier Mandatory of the season and made the Caja Mágica clay her own once again.
- Carla and Garbiñe on the verge once more
One year after falling at the final hurdle, the doubles partnership formed by Carla Suárez and Garbiñe Muguruza were agonisingly close to a home title again. This time, unlike in 2014 (when they lost to Sara Errani and Roberta Vinci in two sets), the Spanish duo fought for victory in a nerve-wracking super tiebreak that Casey Dellacqua and Yaroslava Shvedova, their opponents for the crown, eventually won 10-5. Despite the defeat, Suárez and Muguruza confirmed their solid form as a pair, consolidating it months later: the Spaniards finished the year as runners-up at the WTA Finals in Singapore, the tournament that invites the eight best teams of the season.
- Serena and Sharapova, upset in the semis
The two Mutua Madrid Open champions (Serena in 2012 and 2013, Sharapova in 2014) ended their bids for the title in the semi-finals.
Serena, who had an immaculate start to the season (victories at the Australian Open and in Miami, retired without playing a shot at Indian Wells due to a right knee injury), was powerless as Petra Kvitova put a stop to her run with a solid victory (6-2, 6-3 to the Czech). For her part, Sharapova, a finalist in Brisbane and also in the year’s first Grand Slam, was faced with an inspirational Svetlana Kuznetsova (6-2, 6-4), who saw off the world number three on her meteoric route to the final.
- Kuznetsova, reborn in Madrid
At 29 years of age, and a long time after the most important victories of her career (2004 Australian Open and 2009 Roland Garros), the Russian had a magical week in Madrid. Kuznetsova defeated three seeds (Ekaterina Makarova in her opener, Lucie Safarova in the quarters Maria Sharapova in the semis), as well as two other world-class players (Garbiñe Muguruza in the second round and Samantha Stosur in the last sixteen) to reach the Mutua Madrid Open final. The Russian, who came through two final set tiebreaks (against Stosur and Safarova), was bidding for her second Premier Mandatory title after beating Agnieszka Radwanska in Beijing in 2009. However, she eventually met her match: Petra Kvitova prevented her from lifting the trophy in Madrid.
- Paula Badosa introduces herself to the Caja Mágica
The young Spanish promise received an invitation from the Mutua Madrid Open and she did not disappoint: in an exhibition of power and courage, Badosa reached the main draw of the tournament after defeating Ana Konjuh and Lauren Davis. The young 17 year old, who ended the match with cramp against the US player, lying exhausted on the clay of the Arantxa Sánchez Vicario Stadium, returned the following day to play Sara Errani but sadly had to retire as a result of a leg injury from the previous match. In any case, Badosa took two important things from Madrid: the affection of the public whose hearts she won with her dedication and the confirmation of her incredible potential.