The second round at the 2019 Mutua Madrid Open is in the book after Tuesday’s slate of matches. The line-up wasn’t as engaging as Monday’s schedule and my favourite prospective match of the day didn’t even happen! I’m missing being able to watch all the tennis! Read on for my highlights from day 4 of main draw action in Madrid with reviews of Halep-Konta and Garcia-Cirstea.
Match reviews 🎾
Simona Halep d. Johanna Konta, 7-5 6-1
Halep made it 17 wins in 18 matches in Madrid with a straight sets victory over a fast-starting, Konta. The Brit made a really bright start, dictating the rallies to go up 4-2 and even having a break point for 5-2, missing a return long on a Halep second serve. The momentum swung Halep’s way as she began to play with more intensity and Konta started to miss long.
In what was a topsy-turvy opener, Konta saved two set points to get to 5-5. Konta then missed a total of eight game point opportunities in the final two games with Halep playing the big points better. Halep ran away with the second set, breaking Konta’s serve three times and even managing to string together a run of 15 straight points.
All in all, a promising few weeks for Konta who is enjoying her best clay court season at the WTA level.
Caroline Garcia d. Sorana Cirstea, 6-4 3-6 6-1
Garcia played a great match to beat a valiant effort from Cirstea. Garcia broke Cirstea’s serve in the first game of the match before the pair traded 16 straight service holds. Cirstea needed 10 break points before finally breaking through on the Garcia serve in the second set. Cirstea cut out the unforced errors with Garcia not as dynamic as the first set as she got locked in some gruelling and pulsating rallies.
Garcia stepped up her level in the third set and was much more aggressive in what was an impeccable third set performance. It is just the third time this year on the tour that Garcia has won back-to-back matches. On Wednesday, she’s bidding to reach her first quarter-final of 2019. Only the small task of having to get past the defending champion, Petra Kvitova!
Seeded upsets 😲
The biggest upset of the day was caused by Kateryna Kozlova who scored the second top five win of her career by beating Karolina Pliskova, 7-5 2-6 6-4. Very surprised by this result but how good was Kozlova?! Kozlova was inspired in the final set with 75% of first serves in, a barrage of winners and bundles of mental fortitude to put away one of the toughest competitors on tour.
Point of the day 👏
Garcia saved ten of 11 break points against Garcia. This was definitely the best save!!!
Press highlights 📰
Angelique Kerber was sadly forced to withdraw from Madrid due to ankle injury which meant that Petra Martic received a walkover to the third round.
Recommended reading 📚
Get to know Viktoria Kuzmova in this latest article by WTA Insider.
Tomorrow’s OOP ⭐
Third round action is up on Wednesday in Madrid. None of the matches blow my mind but i’m most looking forward to Halep-Kuzmova, Sevastova-Bertens and Vekic-Martic. Intrigued to see how Ash handles Poots too!