The first day of play of the women’s draw at the Mutua Madrid Open was rocked by a couple of notable withdrawals.
The first player to withdraw from the tournament was top-ranked Spaniard Garbine Muguruza. The world no. 13 announced via a statement that she hadn’t yet recovered from the injury to her left thigh that had forced her to quit mid-match against Yulia Putintseva at the Volvo Car Open in Charleston, a couple of weeks ago.
“We’ve been working hard to recover and to be OK for the tournament. I arrived a week early to adapt because I really wanted to do well this year in Madrid, at home and in front of my fans. The problem has come back and the last [MRI] scan confirmed that I’m not 100% recovered to be able to compete and the medical recommendation is to rest. It’s not an easy decision and it’s a huge disappointment. I’d like to thank the tournament for all the hard work they’ve done to make it possible for us to have this event this year in these circumstances. I hope it’s a great tournament and that the fans in Madrid and at home watching on TV can enjoy it. Next year I’ll be even more excited to try again,” the two-time former Grand Slam champion said.
Muguruza had been drawn to play Sloane Stephens in the opening round in the Spanish capital on Thursday. The former world no. 1 was replaced by lucky loser Danka Kovinic. Stephens went on to defeat the Montenegrin 6-4, 6-1. In the second round, the American will play Ons Jabeur. The Tunisian won against Yaroslava Shvedova 6-2, 6-3 in their first-round match.
Svetlana Kuznetsova also pulled out of the tournament after injuring herself hours before the start of play during one of her practice sessions. Slovenian Polona Hercog took her place as the lucky loser and will play her opening-round match against Jelena Ostapenko.
Meanwhile, during her first-round match against fellow Czech, the ninth-seeded Petra Kvitova, Marie Bouzkova was forced to retire with a right-hand injury. Kvitova was leading 6-2, 2-3 at the time of her compatriot’s retirement. In the second round, Kvitova will play former world no. 1 Angelique Kerber. The German ousted 2019 French Open finalist Marketa Vondrousova 7-6(5), 6-1.
Mutua Madrid Open: Iga Swiatek, Ashleigh Barty dominate
Vondrousova’s opponent in that final, world no. 1 Ashleigh Barty continued her solid form on the surface. The Australian defeated Shelby Rogers 6-2, 6-1 in exactly an hour. This was the duo’s fourth match against each other and Barty has clinched victories in all four. In the second round, Barty will take on Tamara Zidansek. The Slovenian qualifier beat lucky loser Su-Wei Hsieh in the rematch of their final qualifying round, 6-2, 6-4.
Speaking of French Open champions, Iga Swiatek, the defending Roland Garros champion, also marked her first time playing in Madrid with a win. The Pole dropped just two games against Alison Riske, beating the American 6-1, 6-1 in an hour and seven minutes. In the second round, Swiatek will play German qualifier Laura Siegemund. Siegemund won against a fellow qualifier, Ukraine’s Kateryna Kozlova, 6-2, 6-4.
The biggest upset of the day at the Mutua Madrid Open came courtesy of Switzerland’s Jil Teichmann. Teichmann saved six match points before taking down fourth seed Elina Svitolina 2-6, 6-4, 7-6(5). In the second round, Teichmann will play Paula Badosa who won against Barbora Krejcikova 6-1, 7-5.