Sloane Stephens won a battle of Grand Slam titlists on Monday at the Mutua Madrid Open, beating Victoria Azarenka for the fourth consecutive time to advance to the tournament’s third round, while Petra Kvitova continued her quest for her fourth title in the Spanish capital by beating Kristina Mladenovic in the second round.
After confidently walking through the first set, the eighth-seeded Stephens was broken twice in the second set as the former world No.1 Azarenka, currently ranked 52nd, forced the decider. The two-time Australian Open champion Azarenka wasted two break points at 1-1 and won just 50% of points in her service games in the third set, compared to Stephens’ 71%, as the American recorded a 6-4 2-6 6-2 victory.
The second-seeded Kvitova was in control until midway through the second set, when she lost serve and allowed the 2017 Madrid runner-up Mladenovic back into the match. Qualifier Mladenovic, who now works with famous coach Sascha Bajin, succumbed in the tiebreak, losing the last three points as Kvitova triumphed in one hour and 55 minutes, 6-3 7-6(5). This is defending champion Kvitova’s eighth straight win at the Madrid Open and with 28 wins to six losses she is the tournament’s most successful WTA player.
Monday’s second-round action ended around midnight with Belinda Bencic‘s big victory over Roland Garros champion Svetlana Kuznetsova 7-6(4) 2-6 6-3.
Our photographer Jimmie48 was busy from early morning until late at night to bring us the best photos from Madrid. He attended these three matches and many more, including doubles action. Enjoy!
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