Serena Returns Normalcy at Madrid; Gulbis Nightmare Continues
by Staff | May 4th, 2015, 6:07 pm

After an ugly Sunday that saw first-round exits from world No. 2 Simona Halep, No. 6 Eugenie Bouchard, Angie Kerber and former No. 1 Venus Williams, things calmed down on the women’s side Monday at the Mutua Madrid Open, highlighted by world No. 1 Serena Williams’ decimation of fellow American Sloane Stephens 6-4, 6-0.
Williams increased her winning streak to 25 matches amidst the windy conditions in Madrid, stretching her winning ways to last year’s WTA year-end championships.

“She’s such a tough player — I’ve never won a 6-0 set against her before, and I don’t think I can ever do that again,” Williams said. “But today I thought to myself, ‘Wow, this is one of the reasons I love this surface.’ It just gives you so many chances to get in the point and play yourself into the match.”

The world No. 1 will next meet the winner of former No. 1 Victoria Azarenka and Croat Ajla Tomljanovic.

Other Top 10 results Monday were No. 5 Caroline Wozniacki likewise strumming an American in qualifier Christina McHale 7-5, 6-0, and No. 9 Aggie Radwanska strolling past Aussie Casey Dellacqua 6-2, 6-1. The two will next meet in the round of 16, with Wozniacki leading in their career head-to-head 7-4.

“We grew up playing together,” Wozniacki said. “We’ve known each other since we were both eight years old. There are no secrets out there — we practice together all the time, and we play against each other a lot too.”

Former world No. 2 Svetlana Kuznetsova and Grand Slam champ Sam Stosur set up a third round meeting with wins — the Russian outlasting Garbine Muguruza 6-3, 5-7, 7-5, and the Aussie defeating Kaia Kanepi 6-3, 6-2.

France’s Alize Cornet had little time to revel in her win over the No. 2 Halep, on Monday losing to Italian veteran Roberta Vinci 6-4, 7-5, while No. 13 Lucie Safarova was also a winner Monday.

First-round action on the men’s side Monday featured lower seeds in action. No. 9 Marin Cilic was the headliner, taking down Jiri Vesely 7-5, 6-1. Other seeded winners were No. 11 Feliciano “F-Lo” Lopez outlasting Benjamin Becker 7-5, 3-6, 6-4, and No. 16 John Isner moving past Adrian Mannarino 7-6(2), 6-4.

Lopez rebounded from a first-round loss in Estoril last week.

“Victory is always important,” Lopez said. “My level today was not the most desired. These matches are difficult; they are tough…I think these are the matches that maybe give you the extra confidence that you need. They sometimes change everything.”

Unseeded winners were Americans Sam Querrey and Steve Johnson, Fabio Fognini, David Goffin extending Ernests Gulbis’ awful season, lucky loser Joao Sousa who downed Jerzy Janowicz to set up a meeting with Stan Wawrinka, and qualifiers Thomaz Bellucci and Luca Vanni. The Italian Vanni downed Aussie Bernard Tomic in a third-set breaker.

Isner cracked 13 aces in beating Mannarino, while his countryman Querrey hit 39 winners to beat Thanasi Kokkinakis in three, and Johnson beat qualifier Alejandro Gonzalez 7-6(4) in the third to set up a meeting with Rafael Nadal.

Matches to watch for on Tuesday on the men’s and women’s sides include (4) Petra Kvitova vs. CoCo Vandeweghe, Fernando “Mild Sauce” Verdasco vs. Guillermo “G-Lo” Garcia-Lopez in an all-Spanish, (10) Grigor Dimitrov vs. “The” Donald Young, (12) Jo-Wilfried Tsonga vs. Lukas “The Instigator” Rosol, “Dr.” Ivo Karlovic vs. Richard Gasquet, and (13) Gael “Force” Monfils vs. Viktor Troicki.

MANOLO SANTANA start 11:00 am
WTA – [4] P. Kvitova (CZE) vs C. Vandeweghe (USA)
WTA – [Q] M. Duque-Mariño (COL) vs [3] M. Sharapova (RUS)
Not Before 3:15 pm
ATP – F. Verdasco (ESP) vs G. Garcia-Lopez (ESP)
ATP – [WC] P. Andujar (ESP) vs J. Sock (USA)
Not Before 8:00 pm
WTA – [10] C. Suárez Navarro (ESP) vs [Q] J. Goerges (GER)
Not Before 9:30 pm
ATP – [LL] J. Sousa (POR) vs [8] S. Wawrinka (SUI)

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7 Comments for Serena Returns Normalcy at Madrid; Gulbis Nightmare Continues

M Says:

I saw ReRe play. Given how she was downplaying her chances a little on the WTA boards before the tournament, I was just … amazed, especially in the conditions (very windy).

FLo, you are hometown favorite. We, your fans, would appreciate it if you would stop with the Drama Kinging, okay?

Sad that Queen Vee is out. I can’t imagine the altitude was at all helpful to a limited energy level.


Yolita Says:

What is this? Are you in competition with Brad Gilbert to come up with nicknames for the players? LOL
Mind you. It will be very hard to come up with worse nicknames than BG.
I didn’t get “mild sauce”… Please don’t explain. :D

jalep Says:

Forza: Fabio,Vinci, and who os Luca Vanni?
There’s a name to look up.

Happy Vika Azarenka is getting her form back. Have not been a big fan of her but for the sake of tough competition at the top, have missed her.

M Says:

Luca Vanni just beat Bernard Tomic today in a 3rd set TB. *nods*

(I think he was on the Italian Davis Cup team.)

“I didn’t get “mild sauce”. Please don’t explain. :D”

LOL. Okay.


Izakbwallz Says:

I’m going to put my credibility on the line here and say that, I think the final will be between Azarenka & Sharapova. And I also believe that Azarenka will win the Madrid Open for her first title of the year. But if not Azarenka, then maybe a final between Kvitova & Sharapova, and Kvitova winning her first clay court title of the year. But either which way, I think at least one, or more of those player’s will be in the finals and win it. Says:

Wow. Gulbis. Has he got his 2nd win of the year yet? Is it that he only shows promise every 2nd year? And this is a fallow season?

Has there ever been a player this up and down before?

the DA Says:

@Yolita – He’s normally known as ‘hot sauce’ (Verdasco = Tobasco) so I guess it indicates he’s in a little slump.

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