Not only the weather heated up in Madrid on Saturday, as the 2015 Mutua Madrid Open had plenty of fantastic women’s tennis to offer inside the Caja Magica.
The tournament’s qualifying stage drew to a close on Saturday with Paula Badosa Gibert, Julia Görges, Christina McHale, Mirjana Lucic-Baroni, Marina Erakovic, Olga Govortsova, Andreea Mitu & Mariana Duque-Marino managing to fight their way into the main draw.
While the qualifying finals were still in progress on some courts, the tournament’s 64-player main draw got underway. The first big-name player to enter Caja Magica was Ana Ivanovic and the Serbian looked to recover from a disappointing first-round exit in Stuttgart two weeks ago.
Ivanovic seemed to be in for another first-round loss against Alexandra Dulgheru, dropping the first set and struggling to hang on in the second. Ivanovic finally managed to force a tiebreak and decided it in her favour in a dominant fashion, setting up a third-set decider.
What could have been a cracking end to an exciting match turned out to be quite an anticlimax, as Dulgheru had to retire due to injury, being unable to reward herself for what was an impressive performance for most of the match. After Dulgheru’s retirement, the Romanian and Ivanovic shared a hearty hug at the net.
With Ivanovic finally turning her luck around in Madrid, another player hoping to rebound from disappointing results was Agnieszka Radwanska. The Polish #1 had recently split from coach Martina Navaritlova, looking for a fresh start in Madrid.
The coaching seemed to have worked well for Radwanska, as the Pole cruised to a two-set win against Spaniard Lara Arruabarrena who, despite being cheered on by the many fans on center court, wasn’t a match for Radwanska today.
Main draw action at the 2015 Mutua Madrid Open will continue on Sunday with an incredibly packed order of play, including the first-round matches of Serena Williams, Simona Halep & reigning tournament champion Maria Sharapova.