Madrid PHOTOS: Osaka, Halep, Kerber advance to second round

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Day 2 at the Mutua Madrid Open is in the books and all the second-round pairs are now known.

Top seed Naomi Osaka opened Sunday’s first-round action and hit 43 winners, including eight aces, to beat 2016 finalist Dominika Cibulkova 6-2 7-6(6). It’s hard to believe that this is Osaka’s first main-draw win in Madrid, but it is — last year she lost in the first round to Zhang Shuai, while two years ago she didn’t even make it through qualifying. The young Japanese, who has quickly established herself among the best-earning athletes, debuted her cooperation with Mastercard during today’s match on Court Manolo Santana by wearing the company’s patch on her visor.

Two-time Madrid champion Simona Halep, seeded third, lost just four games against qualifier Margarita Gasparyan, reaching the second round with a 6-0 6-4 scoreline, and fourth seed Angelique Kerber enjoyed just as comfortable victory against Lesia Tsurenko, 6-3 6-2. Halep and Kerber could overtake Osaka at the top of the rankings this week, but it is a long shot. For Halep to get back to the WTA No.1, Osaka would have to lose before the semifinals and Halep would have to win the title in Madrid. Kerber can return to the top spot if Osaka loses before the third round and the German clinches the title.

After picking up her first WTA title in Istanbul over the weekend, Petra Martic continued her run of form on clay and upset the 2016 French Open champion Garbine Muguruza 7-5 7-6(2) to become a WTA player with the best main-draw win-loss record this season, 10-1.

When it comes to seeded players, No.5 Karolina Pliskova and No.8 Sloane Stephens are also through to the second round, with victories over Dayana Yastremska and qualifier Polona Hercog, respectively.

The highest seed to fall on the day was No.6 Elina Svitolina, who lost to Pauline Parmentier 6-4 7-6(6), but it’s not a big surprise as the Ukrainian hadn’t played for over a month because of a knee injury and she took a chance in Madrid but it was too big of a challenge for her at the moment. No.11 seed Caroline Wozniacki played just three games against Alize Cornet before retiring with a lower back injury.

Our Jimmie48 was super busy, as always, as he made it to most of Sunday’s 22 first-round matches, plus several practice sessions, including that of Sloane Stephens and her new coach Sven Groeneveld. Enjoy the photo gallery!



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