Day four of the Mutua Madrid Open saw just six WTA matches on the schedule as two players were forced to withdraw before play even got underway. It’s been another wild week on the WTA tour with just five seeds remaining in the draw and only ONE all seeded match-up for Wednesday’s slate of third round matches. For a preview of the first match up on Arantxa Sanchez court between Petra Kvitova and Daria Gavrilova HERE. Read on for Tuesday’s Set Points…
Timea Bacsinszky is currently on a seven match winning streak… what’s most impressive though is that those seven wins have come in the last eight days! Bacsinszky came to Madrid straight from Rabat where she won her fourth WTA title. In an excellent second round match, Bacsinszky defeated Ekaterina Makarova, 6-4 5-7 6-4 in two hours and 19 minutes. A key factor to why Bacsinszky won this match was her variety in the third set. Her drop shots were on point – she even produced a drop shot winner off a Makarova second serve to hold to 4-2 in the third set.
Bacsinszky failed to serve out the match at *5-2 in the third set but managed to get the job done at the second time of asking, recovering from *5-4 *15-30 down. Bacsinszky plays Simona Halep in third round, who defeated Karin Knapp on Wednesday for the loss of just two games. Halep-Bacsinszky is one of the more enticing third round matches and the Swiss player won their last match in Miami, 4-6 6-3 6-2. Timea must be knackered, but she has shown not only this week but during her runs in Mexico and Indian Wells last year that she’s tough to stop when on a roll.
There weren’t many in the crowd for the second round match between Laura Siegemund and Mirjana Lucic-Baroni but i’m pretty sure everyone who was there or fired up a stream enjoyed this one. It was a feisty affair that ended with no handshake! Siegemund prevailed, 6-2 3-6 6-3. Lucic-Baroni was far too error-strewn to be competitive in the first set, but produced a decent turnaround in set two as Siegemund’s level dropped, perhaps linked to a leg injury, which was heavily taped.
The third set was superb… it had a great intensity and showcased the differing styles of both players. In the end, Siegemund’s slice really helped to neutralise the play and Lucic-Baroni’s error count began to rise again at an alarming rate! As for the no handshake, Lucic-Baroni was clearly not happy about Siegemund’s medical time-out, and could be heard saying “every game it’s something”. She may have also been annoyed at Siegemund’s time in between points (the German got a point penalty in the third set) and some of Siegemund’s celebrations on her errors. But still, no handshake! It’s rare to see…
Oh Caroline… Dominika Cibulkova displayed her fighting instincts as she roared back into contention from 0-6 *0-3 *40-40 down to overcome Caroline Garcia in three sets, 0-6 6-3 6-4. Garcia finished the match with a double fault. I just want to give Caroline a hug because I think she’ll need it after this match. The talent is there, but mentality counts for so much in tennis these days. Cibulkova will play Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova in the third round with the pair tied at 2-2 in their head-to-head.
Carla Suárez Navarro fought back from a break down in the first set against Sabine Lisicki and won 11 of the last 13 games to seal a 6-3 6-2 victory. The Spaniard is the highest seed remaining in her quarter and gets the night session on Wednesday when she plays Sam Stosur in the third round. Carla though was forced to pull out of doubles with Garbiñe due to breathing problems, which could be a concern…
In the final match of the day (why schedule so bloody late, Madrid?!), Sorana Cirstea booked her place in the third round with a second straight sets win over Danka Kovinic this year on the clay, prevailing, 6-3 7-5. Cirstea failed to serve out the match at *5-4, but recovered from *0-30 down to do it at the second time of asking. It’s lovely to see Sorana back and playing well. Cirstea-Siegemund in the third round will be a fun one!
Unfortunately there were two withdrawals today with Lucie Safarova and Camila Giorgi both pulling out before play started. It’s been a rough week in Madrid so far and to be honest, i’m already dreaming of Rome!
Emoji challenge part two! This was fun… Aga’s were my favourites although Garbi’s geek emoji was EVERYTHING.
The Tennis Podcast celebrated their 200th episode this week. I enjoyed their discussion in the latest episode about the issue of attendance for women’s matches in Madrid.
Ever wondered what happened to Zheng Jie? She’s now a mum!
Andrea Petkovic toured Real Madrid’s Bernabeu Stadium… she’s great, I really hope the knee will be OK for the rest of the clay court season.
And finally, check out the new Tennis Planner app HERE… This app makes reserving tennis courts with your phone easy and accessible. It is free for both tennis clubs and players, and includes an online booking system for tennis clubs, in which they can personally manage and have charge of all incoming reservations. The aim, by facilitating the reservation process, is to get more tennis players onto the court!