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Kvitova struggles again in Madrid

Petra Kvitova

Petra Kvitova

MADRID: Fourth seed Petra Kvitova’s stuttering form continued at the Madrid Open as she reached the third round with a 6-4 2-6 6-3 win against CoCo Vandeweghe yesterday. The hard-hitting Czech, who missed the Indian Wells and Miami tournaments because of exhaustion and suffered a first-round exit on indoor clay in Stuttgart last month, was in control when she lead by a set and 2-1.

American world number 36 Vandeweghe then took five games in a row to turn the match on its head and stood toe to toe with the Wimbledon champion in the decider before faltering. Kvitova, also taken to three set by Olga Govortsova in the first round, broke in the eighth game when her opponent netted a forehand and she completed victory with a flourish. There were no alarms for defending champion Maria Sharapova as she crushed Colombia’s Mariana Duque- Marino 6-1 6-2. Former runner-up Victoria Azarenka set up a third-round clash with top seed Serena Williams with a 6-3 6-3 defeat of Croatian Ajla Tomljanovic.

Topping the early men’s programme yesterday was Bulgaria’s Grigor Dimitrov and French showman Gael Monfils, both of whom enjoyed easy victories on the red clay. Tenth seed Dimitrov was 6-4 3-0 ahead when American opponent Donald Young quit with an injury while Monfils dropped only two games against Serbian Viktor Troicki. Top seed Roger Federer was not in action. World number one Serena Williams extended her unbeaten record this season to 22 matches with a routine 6-4, 6-0 win over Sloane Stephens to move into the third round of the Madrid Open on Monday. Williams hasn’t been beaten in the Spanish capital since 2010 and was never troubled by her fellow American as she booked her place in the last 16 in under an hour on court.

The 19-time Grand Slam champion will face either Victoria Azarenka or Ajla Tomljanovic in the third round today. “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,” said Williams. “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. I really love playing on the clay.” Caroline Wozniacki set up a third round meeting with Agnieszka Radwanska as her promising start to the clay court season continued with a 7-5, 6- 0 win over American qualifier Christina McHale.

There will also be a battle of former US Open champions in the last 16 as veterans Samantha Stosur and Svetlana Kuznetsova face off. Kuznetsova battled past home favorite Garbine Muguruza 6-3, 5-7, 7-5 after over two-and-a-half hours on court, whilst Stosur eased past Estonia’s Kaia Kanepi 6- 3, 6-2. Big-serving Americans John Isner and Sam Querrey booked their places in the second round of the men’s event. Isner overcame France’s Adrian Mannarino 7-6 (7/2), 6-4, whilst Querrey edged past Australian qualifier Thanasi Kokkinakis 6- 4, 6-7 (5/7), 6-3. US Open champion Marin Cilic won just his third match of the year with a 7-5, 6-1 victory over Jiri Vesely. Rafael Nadal’s conquerer at the Barcelona Open last month, Fabio Fognini, eased into round two 6-2, 6-3 over Santiago Giraldo. Meanwhile, 11th seed Feliciano Lopez needed three sets to beat Germany’s Benjamin Becker 7-5, 3-6, 6-4. — AFP

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This article was published on 05/05/2015