Ash Barty has continued her winning ways with a strong victory, as the Mutua Madrid Open got underway overnight.
Barty advances to the second round after defeating American Shelby Rogers 6-2, 6-1. Next up, she will meet Slovenian qualifier Tamara Zidansek who recently made the final of the Copa Colsanitas in Colombia.
It’s another case of bad luck for Rogers who has now faced Barty four times this year with all encounters resulting in a loss for the world number 43. This match was the heaviest defeat yet for the American as she came up against a rampant Barty, who has now won 12 straight matches on European clay.
Current French Open champion Iga Swiatek eased through her encounter with American Alison Riske winning 6-1, 6-1. The win sets Swiatek on course to face Ash Barty in the third round in what would be the first meeting between the French Open champions, should they both advance.
Former Grand Slam winners Petra Kvitova and Angelique Kerber both advanced to the second round where they will face each other for the 14th time, with Kvitova currently holding a 7-6 lead over the German.
Sloane Stephens and Belinda Bencic also advanced to the second round, as fourth seed Elina Svitolina was the only upset of the day losing to rising Swiss talent Jil Teichmann.
In the doubles, Australia’s Ellen Perez advanced to the second round with her Chinese partner Saisai Zheng with a 6-2, 2-6, 10-7 victory over American duo Sabrina Santamaria and Kaitlyn Christian.
It was a frustrating day for the Australians at the BMW Open in Munich as the two doubles pairings went down in the quarter-finals.
Second seeded John Peers and Luke Saville exited the tournament after losing 4-6, 2-6 to the German pair of Dustin Brown and Peter Gojowczyk. John-Patrick Smith and Matt Ebden didn’t fare much better going down 4-6, 3-6 to the top seeded pair of Wesley Koolhof and Kevin Krawietz.
In singles action, Jan-Lennard Struff defeated compatriote Dominik Koepfer to set up a clash with fourth seed Filip Krajinovic who advanced via a walk over.
There was a huge upset at the Millennium Estoril Open as Frenchman Corentin Moutet defeated top seed Denis Shapovalov 6-4, 2-6, 6-4.
Moutet is a rising talent who you may remember after he defeated Australian John Millman in the opening round of the 2021 Australian Open. The young Frenchman then went on to make the semi-finals of the Murray River Open defeating Frances Tiafoe, Albert Ramos-Vinolas and Grigor Dimitrov on the way.
Ramos-Vinolas will get a rematch with Moutet after he advanced to the quarter-finals with a 6-2, 7-6 victory over Pierre-Hugues Herbert.
It was another successful outing in Ostrava for Australian Marc Polmans, who defeated Uzbekistan’s Denis Istomin 6-3, 6-0. Istomin is one of the rare few to have defeated Novak Djokovic at the Australian Open, inflicting one of only eight defeats for the nine time champion back in 2017.
Polmans continued his good work later in the day as he and his Ukranian partner Sergiy Stakhovsky advanced to the semi-finals in the doubles after a 7-6, 7-5 victory over Polish pair Karol Drzewiecki Szymon Walkow.
It was a day of mixed results for Arina Rodionova at the W60 ITF event in Charlottesville, going down in the singles 2-6, 4-6 to American Allie Kiick as she searched for a spot in the quarter-finals. Rodionova is still alive in the doubles, winning the first set 6-2 before her opponents Sachia Vickery and Allie Kiick retired. Bittersweet after the singles loss.
At the W15 event in Antalya, Australian Olivia Gadecki won a marathon encounter with Italian Federica Bilardo 5-7, 7-5, 6-4 in 2 hours and 47 minutes to advance to the quarter-finals. Gadecki will play Belarussian Kristina Dmitruk for a spot in the final four.
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