Anastasija Sevastova and Veronika Kudermetova caused the only two second-round upsets at the Mutua Madrid Open on Saturday. The Latvian stunned 15th seed Johanna Konta in straight sets 6-3, 6-3 in an hour and 31 minutes. In the round-of-16, Sevastova will play Paula Badosa. The Spaniard ousted Jil Teichmann 5-7, 6-1, 6-2.
Meanwhile, Kudermetova upset the defending champion Kiki Bertens. The Russian needed an hour and 20 minutes to wrap up a 6-4, 6-3 win over the seventh-seeded Dutchwoman. In the third round, she will play ninth seed Petra Kvitova.
Mutua Madrid Open: In-form Ashleigh Barty and Iga Swiatek set thriller
The Czech defeated fellow southpaw Angelique Kerber in one of the early blockbuster clashes in the Spanish capital. The former world no. 2 eventually got the better of the German in an hour and 22 minutes, winning 6-4, 7-5.
Post-match, while analysing her game, Kvitova shared, “I don’t think that I really played like bad games when she broke my serve. It was kind of important to stay calm, which I did very well I think today, through whole match. I just took her straight away back. I served very well, especially in the important points. I think like overall the intensity and the tennis itself was on the high level I would say. I think we really played very well. She even served very well, as well. It was tough to attack her serve. I think I was pretty pleased that I stayed calm during the whole match. I was just there, doesn’t matter what the score [was]. That’s what I’m pleased with.”
At the top of the draw, world no. 1 and 2019 French Open champion Ashleigh Barty will take on the 2020 French Open champion Iga Swiatek in the third round. Barty won against Tamara Zidansek 6-4, 1-6, 6-3 in an hour and 58 minutes. Swiatek, in her second-round clash, got the better of Laura Siegemund 6-3, 6-3 in 100 minutes.
With both players showing impressive form on clay – Barty with an ongoing winning streak of 13 straight wins and Swiatek with a run of nine consecutive matches – their upcoming match-up promises to be a treat.
As such, even the two players, too, are eager for the matchday to arrive. Speaking about her upcoming clash in her post-match presser, Barty shared, “Real exciting. A match that I look forward to. I’ve hit with her once in Melbourne a few months ago. She’s got a seriously impressive game. Moves very well on the clay court, can slide off both legs, controls her body really well on clay. Likes to use her hopper, gets around, controls the court with her forehand. It’s a challenge that we go into with a really clean slate, a little bit of a period of trying to figure each other out and how our games match up.”
Meanwhile, the last third-round match in the top half of the Mutua Madrid Open will be played between Ons Jabeur and eighth seed Belinda Bencic. The Tunisian defeated Sloane Stephens 4-6, 6-1, 6-3 while Bencic defeated Bernarda Pera 3-6, 6-1, 7-6(5) in the second round.