WTA Media Day: As it happened

Antonio Arenas Mutua News

Before starting their campaign at the Mutua Madrid Open, the star players of the WTA were in attendance at Media Day, which was held in the players’ zone of the Caja Mágica on Friday morning.

Carla Suárez was the first to face the press. She comes to the tournament hoping to “do well in Madrid” but she is aware that “it is a very difficult draw, the best players are there”. Regarding Shuai Peng, her opponent in the first round, “I am very familiar with her, she is a dangerous opponent with a good serve”.

Then came the turn of Angelique Kerber, the current world number two and the favourite in Madrid. The German said she is feeling “very good” both physically and mentally. Kerber comes to Madrid with the intention of “improving her results and playing good tennis and focusing on training and playing”.

Another player hoping to improve her results on other years is the Czech Karolina Pliskova, who feels “very good” even though clay is not her preferred surface, although she comes here intent on changing her mentality. As for her opponent, the Ukrainian Tsurenko, she said like all the players, “she is a tough opponent” and that she is expecting “a good game”.

Pliskova analysed the draw and noted two possible favourites: Svetlana Kuznetsova and Garbiñe Muguruza.  The Russian stated that she comes to the tournament “with more confidence than last year” and admitted that she is at a “significant point” of her career. She has no specific goal and, like other players, prefers to take it match by match.

Muguruza was the main focus of the media’s attention. The Spaniard is feeling very “emotional and nervous about playing in Madrid”.

“I always want to get far in all the tournaments but especially here, where the people are who follow me most”, said the French Open champion.  Her first test comes against Timea Bacsinszky, “a very difficult opponent for the first round, she is a seed without actually being one. But there are no easy matches, also the more difficult it is, the more you learn”.

Briton Johanna Konta is “really looking forward to starting and enjoying the clay”.  She would like to “improve my results”, but to do so she will first have to get past the German Laura Siegemund, “a very difficult opponent who has had good results”, referring to the recent champion of Stuttgart.

WTA Media Day was concluded with the appearance of Simona Halep. The Romanian defending champion of the Mutua Madrid Open is playing good tennis coming into this year’s tournament and she hopes to do as well as possible. “It will be special for me because I won the title last year, it is added pressure”, she explained. Halep squares off in the first round against Kristyna Pliskova, a “very dangerous player with plenty of game. I am ready as all the matches will be difficult”.