The WTA Tour event in Madrid began on Saturday, and No. 5 seed Svetlana Kuznetsova and American hopeful Melanie Oudin are already on the sidelines.
Israel’s Shahar Peer recorded the biggest upset at the Mutua Madridilena Madrid Open, defeating the Russian Kuznetsova 6-0 in the third set. Oudin lost in straight sets in a tough draw against unseeded Russian Vera Zvonareva.
“Sveta is a great player, especially on clay. But anyone you play here is going to be tough,” Peer said after toppling the reigning French Open champion. “I’ve been playing well since the beginning of the year. Even the matches I’m losing, it’s just a point here and a point there. I’ve been working very hard on my game the last two years and I saw the fruits starting to come last summer. I’m playing with a lot of confidence right now.”
The Top 8 players in the world make up the top eight seeds in Madrid: Serena Williams, Caroline Wozniacki, Dinara Safina, Venus Williams, Kuznetsova, Elena Dementieva, Jelena Jankovic and Sam Stosur.
Among the draw highlights, No. 11 seed Maria Sharapova opens against Lucie Safarova and is looking at a match-up against her Russian countrywoman Dementieva in the third round. The No. 3-seeded Safina could face unseeded Justine Henin in the second round, with the winner looking at a likely match-up against No. 14 Flavia Pennetta.
The No. 7-seeded Jankovic and fellow former No. 1-ranked Serb Ana Ivanovic are looking at a second-round match-up. The No. 8 Stosur has a tough opener against Gisela Dulko, with the winner to face the hot-handed Maria Jose Martinez Sanchez. No. 9 Aggie Radwanska opens against Maria Kirilenko, No. 15 Francesca Schiavone faces (Q) Alize Cornet, and No. 10 Victoria Azarenka opens against (WC) Shuai Peng.
Safina defeated Wozniacki in last year’s final.
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