Australian Open champions Stanislas Wawrinka and Li Na headline play at the Madrid Masters 1000 on Tuesday. Wawrinka, who just won the Monte Carlo Open, takes on rising star Dominic Thiem.
Spanish favorites David Ferrer, Fernando Verdasco and Nicolas Almagro are also in action.
On day two earlier, Grigor Dimitrov knocked out fellow 22-year-old Pablo Carreno Busta 6-2, 6-4. Kei Nishikori stayed hot beating Ivan Dodig and Jo-Wilfried Tsonga was 3-set winner as well. Lone American man John Isner opened with a win over Gabashvili.
“Clay does suit my game very well,” said Isner. “I’ve had some very good results on clay and I’ve had some results that haven’t been so good. Sometimes it’s a bit of a slower surface. I think more than that, it bounces up high, which I like because I’m so big. When it’s warm and sunny, like it is today, it actually plays pretty fast and the ball bounces up high. That was the case today and I took advantage of it.
“It really doesn’t take me too long [to find my confidence on clay]. Winning a match like today helps. If I hadn’t won that match, I’ve got a week to think about it. Each time you go out and play a real match and you’re able to win, it helps so much and gives you confidence going forward. This tournament and Rome next week are huge tournaments and I want to do well.”
In the women’s first round, Aga Radwanska turned away Genie Bouchard 7-6, 6-2. Former French Open winner Sam Stosur beat Dominika Cibulkova 6-4, 6-0, Simona Halep blew out Julia Goerges and former No. 1 Caroline Wozniacki bounced Ekatarina Makarova.
“I thought I served pretty well and then used my forehand to dictate the points, but my movement was good too, and to feel comfortable with that on a court like this is critical,” Stosur said. “The ball does fly a little bit on these courts, so you need to feel like you’re behind it and in control of it, or else it gets a bit out of control.”
Li Na also won, and she returns tomorrow in second round play to face Jie Zheng. Stuttgart champ Maria Sharapova squares off against Christina McHale and in an all-Serbian affair, Ana Ivanovic meets Bojana Jovanovski.
Roger Federer, Rafael Nadal and Andy Murray start play on Wednesday.
TUESDAY MADRID SCHEDULE
MANOLO SANTANA start 11:00 am
WTA – J Zheng (CHN) vs  N Li (CHN)
WTA –  M Sharapova (RUS) vs C Mchale (USA)
Not Before 3:15 pm
ATP –  D Ferrer (ESP) vs [WC] A Ramos (ESP)
ATP – F Verdasco (ESP) vs R Bautista Agut (ESP)
Not Before 8:00 pm
ATP – [Q] D Thiem (AUT) vs  S Wawrinka (SUI)
Not Before 9:30 pm
WTA –  A Ivanovic (SRB) vs B Jovanovski (SRB)
ARANTXA SANCHEZ VICARIO start 11:00 am
ATP – [Q] I Sijsling (NED) vs  T Haas (GER)
ATP – [Q] A Golubev (KAZ) vs N Almagro (ESP)
Not Before 3:00 pm
WTA – G Muguruza (ESP) vs S Stosur (AUS)
WTA – F Schiavone (ITA) vs  S Errani (ITA)
ATP – [WC] G Garcia-Lopez (ESP) vs  K Nishikori (JPN)
Also Check Out:
Haas Wins, Safin Out; Tuesday Schedule at ATP Madrid
Djokovic Opens Rome Title Defense Tuesday; Serena, Sharapova Lead Women
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WTA Upsets in Rome; Tues. Djokovic vs. Worm
Wawrinka, Bouchard Offer Up Stunners at Australian Open