Ivanovic unstuck, Kvitova in control – WTA Madrid roundup

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By Ros Satar, in Madrid

  • Four more WTA seeds depart by Day Two
  • Less than half the seeds left
  • Defending champion Petra Kvitova advances

MADRID, SPAIN – Ana Ivanovic joined the list of seeded casualties while defending champion Petra Kvitova racked up another straight sets win.

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Kvitova continued her simple but effective process of playing her game and it paid off against a resurgent Elena Vesnina. The Russian has enjoyed an upturn of fortunes in recent weeks and although the 6-3 6-3 score-live looked deceptively easy, Kvitova admitted that it probably did not do the match justice.

She said: “I won. In two sets. It was nice to be on Centre Court again definitely. It’s a beautiful court, and even I have it to warm-up this morning. Felt very special. Felt very great that I could play again on and win it.

“The start it’s always kind of difficult and tricky, and I’m glad that I had two matches with only two sets. didn’t really lost my serve so far, which is unbelievable with my percentage today.”

At times she did look as though getting past Vesnina was proving to be more of a chore than she would like.

She admitted, with a smile: “I felt frustrated. I was kind of angry that I’m frustrated, so it was really good circle today. But always in the end of the sets I find a way to kind of break her serve. But during the match, of course I didn’t really push the returns or the first serves, so I get a little bit frustrated. Importantly is that I won what I had to. I need to get better for the next one.”

Equally frustrated and with good reason was former World No. 1 and French Open winner Ana Ivanovic, who still could not make consistent headway, bowing out after a tough opener to qualifier Louisa Chirico, 5-7 6-1 6-3.

She said, after her match: “I really thought she raised her level and she generated a lot of power and I think I felt that this court was really taking the spin she was producing, specially off the forehand side, and you know I thought I really did well to get back to that first set, and I thought I did well to win it at the end.

“I felt like in the second set she didn’t make any errors at all, I think the first errors came like at 5-0. Yeah in third set I sort of got the balance right of being aggressive enough and not making errors, but as soon as I became a little bit too passive, she took advantage again ad kind of got on top of it.

“I realised what she was doing and I was like… I didn’t have an answer to that, you know, I felt like I struggled and I couldn’t find the balance and that’s why I was really upset because in a way I felt a little bit silly, because I could exactly see the game plan, and yet there was nothing I could have done about it.”

Ivanovic has been struggling with a knee injury and a resulting abdominal injury and has been racing to catch up with her fitness, but she admitted that she still is not able to do sprints or interval training, resorting t drills and gym work, although she felt that in the last few weeks her fitness was coming back up.

Accompanying her out of the tournament were fellow seeds Elina Svitolina, Karolina Pliskova and Sloane Stephens.

In the final match of the day, third seed Garbiñe Muguruza failed to advance to the third round once more as she was defeated in the first night match by Irina-Camelia Begu 5-7 7-6(3) 6-3.

Play continues at 12pm (11am BST) tomorrow as the final places for the round of 16 are decided.