Top-seeded Aggie Radwanska’s weaknesses were exposed on her least-favorite surface Sunday when the scrambling Dominika Cibulkova ousted the Pole on the red clay at the Mutua Madrid Open 6-4, 6-7(3), 6-3 in the opening round.
She will next meet Caroline Garcia, who advanced when Johanna Konta retired with an upper respiratory illness.
Other upsets on the day were Czech Barbora Strycova ousting No. 2 Angie Kerber 6-4, 6-2; Montenegro’s Danka Kovinic topping No. 7 Roberta Vinci 6-4, 6-2; and red-hot qualifier Laura Siegemund downing No. 9 Svetlana Kuznetsova 6-0, 3-6, 6-3.
“It’s tough to win a point against her because she puts every ball back,” Strycova said of Kerber. “It’s difficult for me because I’m a smaller player and I have a similar game to her, so it’s difficult for me to be patient, because I’m not a patient person..But I tried to be patient today and it worked.”
Top 10 seeds into the second round were (3) Garbine Muguruza, (4) Victoria Azarenka, (5) Petra Kvitova, (6) Simona Halep, (8) Carla Suarez Navarro, and (10) Timea Bacsinszky.
Bacsinszky beat Andrea Petkovic 6-4, 2-6, 6-3 roughly a day after winning the WTA Rabat title.
“I was aware that I would have a low in my match,” said Bacsinszky, who fell behind 0-5 in the second set. “I tried to kick my butt in the beginning of the third, and the level went up…I didn’t want to be brilliant, just efficient.”
Other winners and losers of note were (WC) Sorana Cirstea beating former No. 1 Jelena Jankovic, Irina-Camelia Begu defeating Genie Bouchard, and Madison Keys navigating a tricky three-setter against fellow American and wildcard Alison Riske.
Matches to look for on Monday in Madrid are (4) Azarenka vs. Alize Cornet, Begu vs. (3) Muguruza, and (16) Sloan Stephens vs. (Q) Patricia Maria Tig.
On the men’s side only two main draw matches were played on Sunday as as Alexandr Dolgopolov and wildcard Fernando “Hot Sauce” Verdasco moved into the second round.
The Ukraine’s Dolgopolov outlasted American Steve Johnson 3-6, 6-3, 7-6(4), and Verdasco likewise came out on top in a close one with Argentine wildcard Juan Monaco 7-5, 7-6(3).
Dolgopolov will next meet the winner of No. 11 seed Milos Raonic and Thomaz Bellucci. Verdasco will get the winner of No. 10 seed Richard Gasquet and Spanish qualifier Roberto Carballes Baena.
Matches to watch for on Monday in Madrid are (9) David Ferrer vs. Guillermo “G-Lo” Garcia-Lopez, (Q) Radek “The Worm” Stepanek vs. Vasek “Popsicle” Pospisil, (16) Gilles Simon vs. Marcos Baghdatis, and (Q) Pierre-Hughes Herbert vs. Sam Querrey.
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