It was time for the second half of round two at the 2015 Mutua Madrid Open on Tuesday and two big-name players were rather busy early on as Victoria Azarenka and Petra Kvitova were among the first to kick off the day.
Azarenka faced Ajla Tomljanovic, the Croatia-born Australian had earned her round-two ticket with a surprise win over fellow youngster Belinda Bencic on Sunday. Despite Tomljanovic’s best efforts that were enough to produce plenty of close games early into the set, Azarenka prevailed, sealing a straight-set win that was never truly in doubt.
Meanwhile, Petra Kvitova was busy on Manolo Santana, as American Coco Vandeweghe forced the Czech Wimbledon champion into a third set. Despite clay clearly not being Kvitova’s favorite surface, the 2014 Madrid semifinalist pulled through once more to continue her solid run in the Spanish capital.
With Azarenka and Kvitova safely through to the third round, it was Maria Sharapova’s turn to live up to the expectations as the reigning Madrid champion. Just like her first round, the Russian passed her match in flying colors, beating Mariana Duque-Marino in straight sets.
In the afternoon, Stadium 3 was all packed with fans when Ana Ivanovic faced off with promising youngster Elina Svitolina. Ivanovic had split from coach Dejan Petrovic yesterday and the decision seems to have helped the Serbian since she managed to edge Svitolina in straight sets, despite the Ukrainian putting on a quite promising performance.
Also through to the next round is Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova, following her win over Sara Errani, as well as Caroline Garcia after beating Karolina Pliskova in three sets.
The evening match saw Julia Görges and local hero Carla Suarez Navarro go head to head. After CSN took the first set, Görges regrouped to make it a competitive affair as the Spaniard only narrowly sealed the deal in two sets.
A rather odd highlight of the match was Champions League football being shown on the court’s big screens during changeovers (including play-by-play commentary in full volume), since the organizers wanted to make sure local fans didn’t miss out what was happening to their beloved Real Madrid.
The round of the last sixteen is due tomorrow, highlighted by the classic match-up between Serena Williams and Victoria Azarenka, a pairing that has produced plenty of stunning matches. Keep checking back to Women’s Tennis Blog as the 2015 Mutua Madrid Open is picking up pace!