The favourites play their openers on Friday in Madrid

Antonio Arenas Mutua News, Women's Tennis

After a passionate first day of competition, the second day at the Mutua Madrid Open promises some even more mouth-watering clashes. Some of the top seeds, such as Simona Halep, ex-world No. 1 Naomi Osaka and the powerful Aryna Sabalenka will start their assaults on the title in the Caja Mágica.

The Japanese Naomi Osaka will play her opener on the Caja Mágica clay in the second match in the Manolo Santana Stadium, a special tie against her compatriot Misaki Doi. The four-time Grand Slam champion will not have it easy against a player who came through qualifying. It will be the third time the two players have crossed paths, with Osaka dominating their H2H (2-0).

Next up, the Romanian Simona Halep will take on Sara Sorribes in the third tie in the Manolo Santana Stadium. Their only previous encounter came at last year’s French Open with victory going to the ex-world No. 1.

Another of the seeds who will be stepping out into the limelight tomorrow is Aryna Sabalenka. The Belarusian will open the day’s play on the centre court against Russian player Vera Zvonareva, whom she has never previously met on clay. Sabalenka arrives in Madrid after a spectacular run of play that included a title on the clay of Stuttgart.

As well as these duels, tomorrow’s schedule includes plenty of other matches for the fans to enjoy, such as Karolina Pliskova’s encounter with Coco Gauff, Venus Williams’ opener against Jennifer Brady and that of the Greek Maria Sakkari, who takes on Amanda Anisimova.