Former French Open champ Sam Stosur’s claycourt conundrum continued on Monday at the Mutua Madrid Open in Spain as the No. 9-seeded Aussie was ejected in first round play by hot-handed unseeded Spaniard Carla Suarez Navarro 7-6(7), 6-2.
“The draw wasn’t very good to me, and I knew the match was going to be difficult, so I was prepared with my tactics today,” Suarez Navarro said. “We only have one tournament here in Spain so for us it’s a really important week.”
No. 4 Aggie Radwanska was also a seeded upset Monday, downed by Brit Laura Robson 6-3, 6-1.
Also advancing on the women’s side Monday were No. 2 seed Maria Sharapova over Romanian qualifier Alexandra Dulgheru 7-5, 6-2; No. 3 Victoria Azarenka over Russian Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova 7-6(8), 7-6(3); No. 6 Angie Kerber strolling past France;s Alize Cornet 6-4, 6-2; and No. 7 Sara Errani grinding past Romanian Sorana Cirstea 6-4 in the third.
“There were a lot of ups and downs — when you don’t play so much, you kind of lose how to feel that momentum in the match,” Azarenka said. “I was just playing a little bit stupid, I think, and she definitely got loose and nothing to lose.”
Sharpaova will next meet the American qualifier Mchale.
“I’ve played against her a few times — once, twice maybe — once last year in Rome, I remember that match,” Sharapova said. “She plays extremely well. She dropped in the rankings a little bit, because I remember her being seeded at some of these events, and now she’s qualifying. But she plays the top players really well. She doesn’t have much to lose. I’m sure she’ll be playing really good tennis.”
No seeded upsets on the men’s side Monday in first-round play as three seeds advanced in No. 11 Nicolas Almagro who moved on when German qualifier Tobias Kamke retired in the second set citing a hip injury. No. 12 Milos Raonic won a nail-biter against Russian veteran Nikolay Davydenko 7-5, 7-6(5), and No. 14 Kei Nishikori eased past Jurgen “Tuna” Melzer 6-3, 6-2.
“I’ve just got to clean up crucial mistakes, take care of my serve, create a couple of opportunities on his serve and make the most of them,” said Raonic, who lost to Rafael Nadal in the Barcelona semifinals last month.
Other notable unseeded winners were Grigor Dimitrov, Kevin “Mr.” Anderson, “I’m from!” Jerzy Janowicz beating American Sam Querrey in straights, Denis Istomin topping (Q) Xavier “X-Man” Malisse, and big-serving American John Isner edging (Q) Guillermo “G-Lo” Garcia-Lopez 7-5, 7-6(8).
Matches to look for Tuesday in Madrid are a-plenty in (1) Serena Williams vs. grinder (WC) Lourdes Dominguez Lino, (2) Roger Federer vs. Radek “The Worm” Stepanek, (1) Novak Djokovic vs. Grigor “Mr. Sharapova” Dimitrov, (2) Maria Sharapova vs. (Q) Christina Mchale, (9) Janko Tipsarevic vs. (upset alert) Juan Monaco, Marcos Baghdatis vs. (WC) Tommy Robredo, (12) Milos Raonic vs. Fernando “Hot Sauce” Verdasco, (15) Dominika Cibulkova vs. Sabine Lisicki, an all-Russian in Svetlana Kuznetsova vs. (11) Nadia Petrova, and upset-maker (LL) Madison Keys vs. (WC) Anabel “Funky Cold” Medina Garrigues.
MANOLO SANTANA start 10:50 am
[Q] M Torro-Flor (ESP) vs  M Bartoli (FRA) – WTA
 S Williams (USA) vs [WC] L Dominguez Lino (ESP) – WTA
Not Before 3:15 PM
R Stepanek (CZE) vs  R Federer (SUI) – ATP
 A Murray (GBR) vs F Mayer (GER) – ATP
Not Before 8:00 PM
 N Djokovic (SRB) vs G Dimitrov (BUL) – ATP
Not Before 9:30 PM
[Q] C Mchale (USA) vs  M Sharapova (RUS) – WTA
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