The quarter-finals are all set at the 2019 Mutua Madrid Open and we are on the final straight to Saturday’s grand finale. Wednesday’s action produced a surprising number of one-sided matches including a double bagel! Thursday’s quarter-finals look damn fine on paper so hoping for a classic in there somewhere. Read on for the highlights from Wednesday’s action in Madrid.
Match reviews 🎾
Ash Barty d. Yulia Putintseva, 4-6 6-1 6-2
Barty extended her record to 23-3 (!) for the year with a 11th consecutive win and a come-from-behind victory over Putintseva. It was another demonstration of the tennis IQ of Barty and her ability to problem solve to turn a match around.
Putintseva played a smart opener, hitting with height to Barty’s backhand, pushing her way back behind the baseline and then using the drop shot effectively too. Barty’s first serve percentage in the first set was unusually high at 70%, perhaps because of the wind? She was rolling in the first serve at times and won just 43% of points behind it in the first set!
Barty was much more aggressive in the second set, staying closer to the baseline and showcasing sharper footwork to run around onto the forehand after her serve. The Aussie took more risks and really found her mojo on serve towards the end of the second set. Putintseva gifted more loose errors as it was Barty who began to win the battle of the drop shots.
Barty’s serve improved with each set – from getting broken in three of her first five service games, Barty held her last eight service games to score an excellent win in tough conditions. I’m still howling at the moonball rally in the final game of the match 🤣.
Petra Martic d. Donna Vekic, 4-6 6-3 3-0 ret.
Martic made it seven straight wins although it wasn’t the way she would have wanted to do it as Vekic was forced to retire with a hip injury. In a yo-yo opener, Vekic won the last five games of the set. Vekic came back from an early break down in the second set but seemed to tweak something in a pinball rally where Martic was defending at the net. Vekic looked increasingly awkward from there on as the errors started to mount. Vekic took a medical time-out at 2-5 down in the second set and eventually called it a day after losing the first three games of the decider.
The pair hugged twice at the net which was lovely to see. Hopefully nothing too serious for Donna who continues to show steady improvement on the tour this year. One to watch for the grass? Martic has had a few slices of luck this week with her opponents getting injured but no doubt she’s playing some terrific tennis right now.
Petra Kvitova d. Caroline Garcia, 6-3 6-3
Kvitova produced another scintillating performance against Garcia to match her 6-3 6-3 win over the Frenchwoman earlier this year in Miami. Garcia played a decent match but just couldn’t make an impact on Kvitova’s serve, or throw her off her rhythm. Kvitova held all nine of her service games, winning 86% of first serves and 67% of second serves. It was a huge improvement from her match against Mladenovic and perhaps a testament to the respect she has for Garcia’s game. That’s now seven straight wins on tour and nine straight wins in Madrid. Petra in this form… 🔥🔥🔥.
Stat watch 🔢
I actually thought Kuzmova had a shot against Halep 😂😂😂. These stats are remarkable, notably Kuzmova’s service stats.
Handshakes and hugs 🤗
A trio of hugs from third round action in Madrid captured by Jimmie48 on Twitter.
Press highlights 📰
Simona discussed her “near-perfect” performance in press.
Recommended reading 📚
An informative read about the changes at Roland Garros. Hoping to visit again in the next few years!
Tomorrow’s OOP ⭐
The quarter-finals are lit 🔥. Who you got?