[QODLink]
Tennis
Top seeds through at Madrid Open
On the new unfamiliar blue clay, world number one Victoria Azarenka and Maria Sharapova ease into second round.
Last Modified: 06 May 2012 21:44
With 29 wins already this year, Azarenka continued her great form against Svetlana Kuznetsova [GALLO/GETTY]


The top two seeds advanced to the Madrid Open second round on Sunday when Victoria Azarenka dispatched Svetlana Kuznetsova 7-6 6-4 and Maria Sharapova crushed Irina-Camelia Begu 6-0 6-2.

Making a less auspicious debut on the unfamiliar blue clay, a controversial innovation at this year's edition of the event, was 2010 French Open champion Francesca Schiavone, who was upset 6-4 6-7 6-3 by American qualifier Varvara Lepchenko.

Azarenka, the world number one and runner-up in Madrid last year, dealt efficiently with the potential threat from Russian Kuznetsova, another former French Open champion who had beaten the Belarussian in four of their six previous meetings.

Azarenka has been in blistering form this year, however, with 29 wins, four titles including her first grand slam at the Australian Open which catapulted her to number one, and just two defeats.

Second-ranked Sharapova was coming into the Madrid event following her win over Azarenka in last week's Stuttgart final, her first title of the year and 25th overall, and swatted aside the 56th-ranked Begu who was making her debut at the premier event in the Spanish capital.

The Russian will be looking to complete her collection of grand slams at Roland Garros starting later this month, the only one of the four she has not won.

Former number ones Caroline Wozniacki and Ana Ivanovic had contrasting matches as both progressed into the second round.

Dane Wozniacki, the sixth seed, had to battle past Kazakhstan's Ksenia Pervak 7-6 3-6 6-4, while Ivanovic of Serbia, the 13th seed, dismissed French qualifier Mathilde Johansson 6-4 6-1.

The Williams sisters are in action on Monday, with ninth-seed Serena playing her first-round match against Russia's
Elena Vesnina and Venus, playing on a wildcard, meeting Angelique Kerber of Germany in the second round.

 

Source:
Reuters
Topics in this article
People
Country
City
Featured on Al Jazeera
Italy struggles to deal with growing flood of migrants willing to risk their lives to reach the nearest European shores.
Israel's Operation Protective Edge is the third major offensive on the Gaza Strip in six years.
Muslims and Arabs in the US say they face discrimination in many areas of life, 13 years after the 9/11 attacks.
At one UN site alone, approximately four children below the age of five are dying each day.
Featured
Absenteeism among doctors at government hospitals is rife, prompting innovative efforts to ensure they turn up for work.
Marginalised and jobless, desperate young men in Nairobi slums provide fertile ground for al-Shabab.
The Khmer Rouge tribunal is set to hear genocide charges for targeting ethnic Vietnamese and Cham Muslims.
'I'm dying anyway, one piece at a time' said Steve Fobister, who suffers from disabilities caused by mercury poisoning.
The world's newest professional sport comes from an unlikely source: video games.
join our mailing list