World No.1 Naomi Osaka and Simona Halep have won their opening matches at the Madrid Open, while Garbine Muguruza was upset by Croatian ace Petra Martic.
The top-ranked Osaka, the reigning US Open and Australian Open champion, hit 43 winners, including eight aces on the outdoor red clay, to beat 2016 finalist Dominika Cibulkova 6-2 7-6(6) on Sunday.
“For me, I’m just happy to get through it,” Osaka said. “I feel the most nervous during the first round and to play against Cibulkova was kind of tough for me, especially on clay.”
— WTA (@WTA) May 5, 2019
Osaka will face Sara Sorribes Tromo in the second round after she got past fellow Spanish wildcard Lara Arruabarrena.
Martic ousted two-time Grand Slam winner Muguruza 7-5 7-6(2) a week after the Croat won her first career title in Istanbul.
Martic goes on to face fourth seed Angelique Kerber, who dropped just five games in a first-round win over Lesia Tsurenko.
Muguruza, meanwhile, has progressed beyond the second round Madrid just once in seven main-draw appearances.
And she was not the only big name to fall in the first round in the opening round in the Spanish capital.
Sixth seed Elina Svitolina fell in straight sets to Pauline Parmentier while 13th seed Madison Keys fell in three to Romanian wildcard Sorana Cirstea. No.11 seed Caroline Wozniacki was forced to retire with a lower back injury while trailing Alize Cornet 3-0 in the first set.
Meanwhile, two-time Madrid champion Halep brushed off Russian qualifier Margarita Gasparyan 6-0 6-4.
“It was a good match, even if the first set was fast. The second one was tougher, and I feel happy that I could win this match,” Halep said. “I did everything I could today and I’m happy with the victory.”
Also progressing were No.5 seed Karolina Pliskova – who saved four match points to beat Ukrainian young gun Dayana Yastremska – and eighth seed Sloane Stephens, who defeated qualifier Polona Hercog 6-2 7-6(6).
For Stephens, a finalist last year at Roland Garros, it was her first victory under the guidance of new coach Sven Groeneveld.
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