The 2021 Mutua Madrid Open is finally underway. After the qualifying stages, which provided us with some quality tennis and the players to complete the main draw, today we were finally able to watch the best WTA players in the world strutting their stuff on court.
One of the first to play was the seeded Ukrainian Elina Svitolina, who clashed with Jill Teichmann. The result after over two hours of play in the Arantxa Sánchez Stadium was not in the script as the Ukrainian lost to the Swiss player. In an epic match, Teichmann saw off as many as six match points en route to completing her comeback (2-6, 6-4, 7-6) and one of the best wins of her career against the world No. 5.
Ashleigh Barty, though, delivered on expectations as she saw off Shelby Rogers in just one hour. Barty was clinical (6-2, 6-1) as she made a perfect start to her tournament. The Australian thus continues her run of results and progresses to the second round with ease. There she will meet Tamara Zidansek.
Another seed making her Caja Mágica debut was Johanna Konta, against the Kazakh Yulia Putintseva. The Briton comfortably beat her opponent (6-4, 6-2) in a match that was delayed by rain.
Iga Świątek held her nerve in her first official Mutua Madrid Open match against Alison Riske. The Pole only needed one hour to conclude her solid start and seal a place in the second round (6-1, 6-1), she was largely untroubled by the American. In the second round, the current French Open champion will play Petra Kvitova, who has more titles in Madrid than anyone else.
The final seed to progress to the next phase was Belinda Bencic. Two sets were enough for the Swiss player to defeat Kristina Mladenovic (6-4, 6-2), who came through qualifying. The No. 11 in the WTA ranking closed out the day in the Caja Mágica on her way to the second round, where she will meet Bernarda Pera.
Other first-round results from the top half of the draw:
A. Kerber (ALE) d. M. Vondrousova (CZE) 7-6, 6-1
O. Jabeur (TUN) d. Y. Shvedova (KAZ) 6-2, 6-3
V. Kudermetova (RUS) d. E. Vesnina (RUS) 6-1, 6-4
T. Zidansek (SLO) d. S-W. Hsieh (LL) 6-2, 6-4
S. Stephens (USA) d. D. Kovinic (MNE) 6-4, 6-1
L. Siegemund (GER) d. Kat. Kozlova (UKR) 6-4, 6-2
A. Sevastova (LAT) d. A. Bogdan (ROU) 6-0, 6-3
B. Pera (USA) d. P. Martic (CRO) 6-3, 6-2