Thrills and spills on Monday at the Caja Mágica

Antonio Arenas Mutua News

Monday’s play threw up plenty of excitement at the Mutua Madrid Open. The second round of the women’s competition has started to take shape as the first cycle of men’s singles matches was completed.

Feliciano López and Leonardo Mayer put on a show in the Manolo Santana Stadium. The Spaniard won 7-6(5), 4-6, 6-4 after 2 hours and 32 minutes of play, one of the longest matches of the tournament so far. Having got over the first hurdle, the player from Toledo will now meet Roberto Bautista or Santiago Giraldo in the next round.

Milos Raonic put on a display of power in the Arantxa Sánchez Stadium. The Canadian eleventh seed got through the first round by defeating Brazilian player Thomaz Bellucci 7-6(4), 6-1 with a masterclass of attacking tennis in which he did not face a single break point.

Richard Gasquet brought Roberto Carballés’ superb run to an end, seeing off the Spaniard 6-1, 7-6(5). The tenth seed made the most of his experience to secure his passage to the second round.

Intensity in the women’s competition 

There were a number of upsets among the seeds on Monday. US player Christina McHale maintained her current streak of form to come through a tight match 7-6(3), 6-4 against the Czech Carolina Pliskova, the tournament’s thirteenth seed.

One of the biggest surprises of the day was provided by Patricia Maria Tig, a Romanian player who came through qualifying, who sent Sloane Stephens, the sixteenth seed, packing after a 6-2, 6-3 victory.

The defending champion stamped her authority on the competition. Petra Kvitova, the fifth seed, produced a convincing 6-3, 6-3 win against the Russian Elena Vesnina, a qualifier. The left hander will now take on Daria Gavrilova. The Australian took the spoils in a clash of youth with twelfth seed Elina Svitolina, whom she defeated 6-2, 7-6(4) in one hour and 30 minutes.

Victoria Azarenka looked equally convincing on the Madrid clay. The player of the season so far stormed to a 6-2, 6-2 win over Alize Cornet.

Madison Keys continues to look like one of the most promising players of the upcoming generation, seeing off Barbora Strycova 6-3, 6-3.