Rome Open: Seeds fall in the 1st hurdle; Garbine Muguruza opens campaign with a bang

Three seeds were eliminated in the first round at the Rome Open on Tuesday. Tenth seed Belinda Bencic, 14th seed Elise Mertens and 16th seed Johanna Konta lost to Kristina Mladenovic, Veronika Kudermetova and Jelena Ostapenko respectively.

Mladenovic defeated the Swiss 6-3, 6-4 in an hour and 48 minutes in a rematch of their Mutua Madrid Open first round. Veronika Kudermetova came from a set down to oust Mertens 4-6, 6-2, 6-3 after two hours and 19 minutes. Lastly, Ostapenko posted a 6-3, 6-1 win over Konta in just 69 minutes.

In the second round, Mladenovic – a lucky loser in the Italian capital – will play Petra Martic. Martic had earlier advanced to the second round with a win over Shelby Rogers in the opening round.

Kudermetova will play wildcard Caroline Garcia next. The Frenchwoman won the wildcard derby against Italy’s Elisabetta Cocciaretto 7-6(8), 6-2 in the first round. Ostapenko, meanwhile, will play Australian qualifier Ajla Tomljanovic. Tomljanovic defeated 2019 French Open finalist Marketa Vondrousova 6-4, 6-2 in the first round.

Rome Open: Exciting second-round matches dot the horizon

Other notable results of the day included Angelique Kerber’s win over Alize Cornet. The German won in straight sets 6-2, 7-5 in an hour and 35 minutes to set up an interesting second-round clash against third seed Simona Halep.

Argentine Nadia Podoroska defeated lucky loser Laura Siegemund 2-6, 7-6(3), 6-1 in their opener in two hours and 31 minutes. In the second round, the 2020 French Open semi-finalist will play former world no. 1 and eighth seed Serena Williams, who’s making a return to the Tour after a lengthy hiatus.

In the American derby between Madison Keys and Sloane Stephens, the former got the better of the latter 4-6, 6-2, 7-5 in two hours and 30 minutes. In the next round, Keys will play 15th seed Iga Swiatek.

Amid these results, the only seed to make it through to the second round on Tuesday was 12th seed Garbine Muguruza. The Spaniard won against Patricia-Maria Tig 6-1, 6-2 in just 66 minutes. In the round-of-32, the former world no. 1 will take on American qualifier Bernarda Pera. Pera won against fellow qualifier, Slovenia’s Tamara Zidansek 6-3, 6-2 in their opener.

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