2022 Madrid 2nd Round Notes

The second round of Madrid is in the books. Despite a bit of a subdued set of matches on Sunday, i’m enjoying this tournament so far with the women taking centre stage over the first weekend. I know where we’re heading though with the scheduling as the men’s draw is properly starting on Monday. Just seeing Azarenka-Anisimova on the schedule at not before 9pm local time on Monday is already creaming my corn ๐Ÿ™„๐Ÿ˜‚. Will be a shocker if that finishes before midnight. Read on for my notes from the second round which includes Bouzkova’s resurgence, Halep’s statement win over Badosa and a flurry of seeded Sunday upsets.

R2 Stories ๐Ÿ“š

Marie Bouzkova d. Dayana Yastremska, 3-6 7-6(3) 6-1

Marie Bouzkova has come full circle as she advanced to the last 16 of Madrid. It was this tournament last year when Bouzkova’s momentum was halted as she was forced to retire from her first round match against Petra Kvitova due to a hand injury. Bouzkova returned at Roland Garros but never rediscovered her form as the rest of her 2021 season was a rocky ride, winning just five more matches.

One year on and Bouzkova is on the rise. Bouzkova has now won 21 (!) matches in 2022 and is knocking on the door of the top 20 in this year’s race rankings. On Saturday, Bouzkova saved a match point to beat Yastremska. The Madrid courts can be absolutely lethal for an in-form big hitter and that was the case for the first two sets. Yastremska served for the match at *6-5 in the second set and barely went wide on match point. From then on, Yastremska’s game completely unravelled with a consistent stream of groundstrokes longgg. Bouzkova was outplayed for the first two sets but kept battling and chipping away with an excellent can-do attitude. While she admittedly was given a lot of freebies from Yastremska, Bouzkova played a near-perfect third set.

Belinda Bencic d. Karolina Muchova, 6-3 4-6 7-5

This was a strange old match. The scoreline makes it sound more exciting than it was – I just couldn’t get into it! Muchova had been sailing through her service games in the third set and if anything, looked the more likely winner. Then, out of the blue, Muchova threw in an absolute shocker of a service game at 5-5. Bencic held her nerve to serve out the match. On the whole, very encouraged by Muchova’s performance. The level is there. Just needs matches. Bencic marches on with her eighth consecutive victory and is putting together quite the run since Miami.

Simona Halep d. Paula Badosa, 6-3 6-1

Sadly Saturday’s marquee match was a letdown in terms of the actual match. It was a statement performance though from Halep who eased past the home favourite. I was all over Badosa in my previous post about how well she was handling all the attention. Unfortunately that didn’t age well as she came out looking tentative and edgy, and the pressure did seem to get to her on this occasion. Totally understandable.

Badosa seemed bothered by a shoulder injury in the second set but I don’t think it made much difference. Halep won this match by taking ownership of the baseline and playing much more aggressively than Badosa. Not much more to add really. Halep is now the clear favourite for Madrid. I’ve got everything crossed that Simona can stay healthy in the run-up to Roland Garros.

Coco Gauff d. Yulia Putintseva, 6-1 2-6 6-4

Gauff was on the verge of tears when she finally sealed the win over Putintseva. This was a rollercoaster match ๐ŸŽข. Gauff began with arguably one of her best sets of the entire year. Then it felt like she backed off and got caught up in Putintseva’s web as the rallies lengthened. The third set wasn’t pretty at all. Sometimes it’s just about getting the W. Great battling from Gauff who admittedly accepted a lot of gifts from Putintseva at the end.

Bianca Andreescu d. Danielle Collins, 6-1 6-1

Sunday’s order of play opened with the tantalising prospect of Collins-Andreescu. I was looking forward to this one so naturally it didn’t live up to any of my expectations. I would have liked to have seen this on the second court, or later in the day – it didn’t feel right first up on a pretty sparse Manolo Santana court. That scoreline was certainly not expected!

Was there something not right with Collins? I thought I might have seen her stretching out her neck which I remember was an issue in Miami. Normally it’s Collins who is exerting pressure on her opponent’s return but it was the other way around and I kind of felt like it got into Collins’s head in the first set. Andreescu played a good, solid match and it’s exciting to have her back. Too many errors from Collins to be competitive.

Anhelina Kalinina d. Garbiรฑe Muguruza, 6-3 6-0

Following Andreescu-Collins, there was another “upset” as Kalinina dismissed Muguruza in convincing fashion to score her first ever top ten win. Kalinina simply outplayed Muguruza who seemed to be bothered by a calf injury in the second set. Kalinina continues to impress and her game is legit. Kalinina had one little wobble serving out the first set where Muguruza didn’t make her pay for it with missed returns into the net. The second set was a formality. Worried for Muguruza but not writing her off just yet. I’m sure i’ll end up picking her as my Rolly G champ like I always do ๐Ÿคฃ.

Jil Teichmann d. Leylah Fernandez, 6-4 6-4

This was a smart display from Teichmann to see off a flat Fernandez in straights. Fernandez never really got a handle on the Teichmann kick serve. I can’t quite sum up Teichmann’s year. There’s not been a whole lot to shout about in terms of tournament results for Teichmann but Fernandez joins Kvitova, Kerber, Svitolina and Mertens as scalps in 2022 alone. Not too shabby.

Emma Raducanu d. Marta Kostyuk, 6-2 6-1

Raducanu’s best performance since the US Open? I had Kostyuk winning this one so was surprised at the result, let alone the manner of the scoreline! Kostyuk had a bad day at the office and her forehand was faltering. Raducanu was brilliant in all departments. In particular, the serve was such a weapon and Raducanu didn’t face a break point. Groundstroke game was rock solid and it was nice to see some drop shots too. I think this one meant a lot from the smiles at the end.

Daria Kasatkina d. Maria Sakkari, 3-6 6-3 6-1

Kasatkina improved her head-to-head record to 4-0 (!) over Sakkari with an impressive come-from-behind victory. Sakkari overpowered Kasatkina in the first set and then I switched over to Osaka-Sorribes Tormo so i’m really surprised at this result. I flicked over at the very end and it was just error after error from Sakkari. A second top five win this year for Dasha!

Sara Sorribes Tormo d. Naomi Osaka, 6-3 6-1

This match made me think how irritating Sorribes Tormo must be to play and I say that as a compliment. Sorribes Tormo was spot on with the tactics as she did a great job at varying the height of her groundstrokes by mixing in slices with high, loopier balls that consistently put Osaka in awkward positions. Osaka didn’t have the patience and frequently resorted to overhitting. The tactic worked so well because Sorribes Tormo made so few errors.

Osaka had her calf strapped up from the start and took some painkillers during the second set. There was a moment in the second set where she pulled up running back for a lob. I hope that isn’t going to derail her clay court season. I was more worried about the general performance and how she ran out of ideas. That second set was a painful watch ๐Ÿ˜ž.

Hot shot ๐Ÿ”ฅ

What a pick up from Bouzkova!

Super snap ๐Ÿ“ธ


Predictions โœ…

8/16 for the second round.

Top half 3/8: I had Kalinina to the the third round but the rest of the draw is mostly mulch!

Bottom half 5/8: I had Anisimova and Bouzkova to the third round but went the wrong way with Halep-Badosa!

R3 Previews ๐Ÿค”

Elena Rybakina vs. Jil Teichmann: Ding ding ding first time meeting. This is an interesting one. Court conditions probably favour Rybakina but Teichmann is one of the crafty best at getting the big hitters out of their rhythm. Slight edge to Rybakina. Wary of the Teichmann threat.

Emma Raducanu vs. Anhelina Kalinina: So encouraged by Raducanu’s performance over Kostyuk. Still, write off Kalinina at your own peril. Kalinina is still going very much under-the-radar.

Daria Kasatkina vs. Sara Sorribes Tormo: Omg I screamed when I saw their last match-up – SST won 6-0 6-0 in a $25K ITF in 2015! Assuming Kasatkina isn’t still traumatised by that one then I think this should be a really fun tactical match-up. Instinct with Dasha.

Jessica Pegula vs. Bianca Andreescu: The pair have played just once before in Newport Beach when Andreescu won in a WTF scoreline, 0-6 6-4 6-2. I think this is the match of the round and has got three sets written all over it. I like Pegula’s general steadiness and how well she’s backed up her breakthrough 2021 season so she’s my pick.

Ekaterina Alexandrova vs. Marie Bouzkova: This is a similar kind of opponent for Bouzkova to the second round up against a much more powerful player. It will be an interesting dynamic because Alexandrova is one of the shakiest closers on tour and Bouzkova is one of the biggest fighters on court. Alexandrova in 2 or Bouzkova in 3!

Victoria Azarenka vs. Amanda Anisimova: Can you hear those bells? It’s a first time meeting! I’m quite excited about this match. I thought Anisimova-Martic was a potential banana skin for Anisimova so I was pleasantly surprised that she came from a set down to beat such an established player on clay in Martic. Not really sure where Azarenka is right now but two solid wins in Madrid. I’m going for AA.

Belinda Bencic vs. Ons Jabeur: Like London buses… the Charleston final will be reprised as a third rounder in Madrid. The pair played at the same stage in Madrid last year where Jabeur retired down a set. I don’t remember that match at all! I’m going for BB.

Simona Halep vs. Coco Gauff: Halep leads Gauff, 2-0, in their head-to-head and hasn’t dropped more than four games in any of the sets they’ve played. Interested to see what Gauff can do. Tend to think Halep will be too good and it will be another straight setter.

Follow Moo’s Tennis Blog on Twitter andย Facebook. Feature photo by Omar Boraby Photography.

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