Saturday was a busy day as the women’s singles main draw of the 2017 Mutua Madrid Open started in the Caja Mágica.
In the most exciting clash of the day, Lara Arruabarrena beat US player Christina McHale, 4-6, 7-6, 6-2, in two hours and 23 minutes of play. The Spaniard, who came back from the brink (4-6, 0-4), had to dig deep on the Caja Mágica clay to make her way through to the second round of the tournament.
The Tolosa native took advantage of the wildcard given to her by the organizers to produce one of the best performances so far in this year’s tournament in a match that finished close to midnight in the Spanish capital.
The second seed at the tournament, Karolina Pilskova, was the most impressive player on the clay on Saturday. The Czech, WTA number 3, managed to see off the Ukrainian Lesia Tsurenko, 7-6(5), 2-6, 6-2 after 2 hours and 9 minutes of what was a very tight match.
In order to claim her 25th victory of the 2017 season, Pliskova had to cope with the prowess of her opponent’s return, who was able to take as many as 44% of the points when receiving. The determined Czech, who matched her best result in the Spanish capital, will try to get to the quarterfinals for the first time, where she will face Shuai Zhang or Anatasia Sevastova.
One of the most surprising results of the day came from the Japanese Misaki Doi, who saw off 9th seed, Madison Keys, 6-4, 4-6, 6-4, after 2 hours and 15 minutes of play. Misaki claimed the first victory over a top 10 in her career.
Alison Riske was, before that, the second player to book her ticket to round 2 after defeating the Swiss Victoria Golubic 6-2, 6-4. Elsewhere, Anastasia Sevastova overcame the Chinese Shuai Zhang. As for Roberta Vinci, the Italian beat Russian player Daria Kasatkina 6-1, 1-6, 6-1 on the Arantxa Sánchez Vicario court.
Completion of the qualifiers
Also on Saturday, the last qualifying round was completed, with 8 places available in the final Mutua Madrid Open draw and a chance to face some of the best players.
The players who reached the main draw on the Caja Mágica clay are the Swedish Johanna Larsson (6-2, 6-0 over Jennifer Brady), Colombian player Mariana Duque Mariño (6-3, 6-3 over Anett Kontaveit), the Chinese Qiang Wang (6-2, 6-2 over Evgeniya Rodina), Croatian player Donna Vekic (7-6(4), 1-0 over Shelby Rogers), the Chinese Shuai Zhang (6-4, 6-4 over Risa Ozaki), German player Andrea Petkovic (6-2, 7-6(2) over Maria Sakkari) and two French players, Oceane Dodin (2-6, 6-3, 6-2 over Silvia Soler Espinosa) and Pauline Parmentier (6-2, 6-1 over Ekaterina Alexandrova).