Hola Madrid! The 2021 edition of the Mutua Madrid Open is the debut of the extended tournament with a Thursday main draw start. It does feel weird to be starting on a Thursday but I quite like how the matches will be more spaced out in the earlier rounds because it’s normally carnage at the start. The Madrid draw is always one of the best with no byes and it certainly has delivered again with some of these first round match-ups. Read on for Thursday’s diary from Madrid with the focus on the only seeded upset of the day.
Day 1️⃣ Highlights
Jill Teichmann d. (4) Elina Svitolina, 2-6 6-4 7-6(5)
Of the 16 matches on Thursday’s schedule, 15 were decided in straight sets. The only three set match of the day was a rather extraordinary one. Teichmann rallied from a set and a break down and 1-5 down in the 3rd set, saving SIX match points to stun the number four seed, Svitolina. Three of the match points were saved in stirring fashion by Teichmann. Svitolina will be kicking herself about two of them as she failed to get the return back in play.
The third set was close until Teichmann began making some wild unforced errors. As she clawed back the deficit, game-by-game, she grew in confidence and went on the attack with some aggressive ballstriking. At the end, it was a classic case of Svitolina playing passively, miles behind the baseline which Teichmann smartly exploited with the drop shot.
With Svitolina, it’s all too often the case of one step forward, two steps back. I was starting to sit up and take notice after solid displays in Miami and Stuttgart but this was a bit of a crusher from such a dominant lead in the third set. And actually, Svitolina’s record in Madrid is surprisingly dreadful. This wasn’t the first time she has lost a match in Madrid from match point up, wasting two match points against Zheng Saisai in 2017. Great fight and heart from Teichmann who is not to be underestimated on the clay, or any surface for that matter.
Angelique Kerber d. Marketa Vondrousova, 7-6(5) 6-1
Kerber-Vondrousova was my first viewing experience from Madrid and for a set, it was really good. I said in my preview that I was looking forward to this match-up but completely skipped over that it’s two lefties! The forehand-forehand exchanges were rather dreamy.
Kerber was ultimately rewarded for being more aggressive with her forehand and she managed to overcome an early flurry of errors in the first set. Last week in Stuttgart, Kerber faltered in a tight opening set tiebreak against Svitolina. This time round, she really held her nerve and then powered through the second set. Kerber’s best win of the year so far by ranking and it paves the way for a classic WTA head-to-head…
(1) Ash Barty d. Shelby Rogers, 6-2 6-1
Spare a thought for Shelby Rogers who has drawn Barty four times in 2021. This was one of the best performances i’ve seen this year from Ash. An absolute clinic. The scoreline could have been even more convincing as Barty missed a break point in one of Rogers’s service holds in the first set.
Rogers played OK in the first set and then faded in the second set. It was kind of understandable as Barty didn’t budge one bit. Barty landed 76% of first serves in play, won 27 of 29 points behind the first serve and hit eight aces. Even by Ash’s standards, those are crazy good serving stats.
Side note – love Ash’s face mask!!!
(9) Petra Kvitova d. Marie Bouzkova, 6-2 2-3 ret.
This was a sad ending. A tearful Bouzkova was forced to retire after an awkward fall which left her with a swollen thumb. Bouzkova was competitive at the starts of both sets and was even up a break in the second set when the fall happened. Kvitova pulled away at the end of the first set with some strong serving and returning. Interested how that second set would have played out if Bouzkova hadn’t fallen. Kvitova advances to the second round where she will play Kerber 😍😍😍.
Hot shot 🔥
Ash has looked so sharp in her forward movement on the clay.
Petra with the consoling hug 🤗.
Favourite snap 📸
Recommended media 📺
Urgh rubbish news. Get well soon, Garbi.
Friday watchlist 📺
Thoughts on Friday’s first round matches can be found on the separate page HERE.
7 thoughts on “2021 WTA Madrid, Thursday R1 Highlights: Teichmann stuns Svitolina, saves 6 match points!”
I really enjoyed watching the tennis today and it is great to have some spectators and fans here. It makes a big difference imho to hear the applauding and cheering even though there were not a lot of people watching.
I was quite shocked that Svitolina went out. Did not expect that ! The first match on my Watchlist was Paula Badosa against Jil Belen Teichmann ( with the roof closed ) as I wanted to see if Paula could reproduce her good form from Charleston and she did with some good serving and accurate shots. Her opponent did not play well until the 2nd set when Paula was not as good as she was in the 1st set. Paula stated in her post match interview that she gets tense in these situations when she is looking likely to win and she was 0-40 down at one stage when serving for the match but recovered to win.
It was good to watch Belinda win and her serving was the best that I have seen for a while. She should win her 2nd round match.
Looking forward to watching the rest of the tournament.
Thanks for the insight, Peter. Didn’t watch it but that was a good win for Badosa. Not a bad draw going forward. I am looking forward to the Bank Holiday weekend and plenty of live tennis to watch 🙂
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I often get confused with the names of players and I have just realised that I got the name of Paula Badosa’s opponent wrong ! I meant to say that she beat Barbora Krejcikova and not Jil Belen Teichmann ( who defeated Svitolina ). Maybe it is a lucky Omen for Paula as she is playing Jil Belen Teichmann tomorrow !
I was confused at first watching Svitolina, then blasé, then went to eat my favourite snack. Kudos to Teichmann, she kept her head in it!
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That story of events watching Svitolina sounds accurate, letsplay!
I am so excited for the Kerber vs Kvitova match up! Easily one of my favourites match ups on the tour.
Just such a shame that a Slam Final type matchup happens in the 2R. Was hoping they’d both build momentum for the clay season.
Barty looking very good.. however I wonder if all the matches will take a toll on her, given the altitude in Madrid also.
Looking forward to see how Vika and Osaka play.
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Snap, Dylan! Kerber-Kvitova is one of my fave match-ups too 🙂
I thought Barty was fantastic yesterday but I do have the same doubts as you as to whether she’s going to go all the way in Madrid. Tough draw too although that hasn’t phased her much in her last few tournaments. I’m really hopnig we get Barty vs. Swiatek in the third round!