Barbora Strycova who returned to the tour after over two years at the Mutua Madrid Open lost her first-round match to Elisabetta Cocciaretto. The Italian defeated the Czech 6-3, 7-6(5) after more than two hours of play. Strycova who stepped back from competitive action due to pregnancy in 2021 after that year’s Australian Open is making a final pitstop before announcing her retirement, formally.
This week in Madrid, Strycova will also be playing doubles along with a fellow veteran and long-time doubles partner, Su-Wei Hsieh. Meanwhile, in the match, Strycova did well in the second set to come back from 2-5 down and take it to a tie-break.
However, Cocciaretto went on to prevail eventually, finishing with 85 points to Strycova’s 75. In the second round, Cocciaretto will encounter Spanish 26th seed, Paula Badosa.
Mutua Madrid Open: Czechs rise to the occasion.
Meanwhile, two of Strycova's compatriots had strong starts in their respective first-round matches. Karolina Muchova didn’t have any problems in getting past Anett Kontaveit. Muchova won 6-2, 6-2 in 81 minutes. Muchova won 70% of her first-serve points to Kontaveit’s 60% and 54% of her second-serve points.
The Czech also won 32% points on return on the Estonian’s second serve. Muchova dropped her serve once across the match but went on to convert five of nine break points on Kontaveit’s serve. In the next round, Muchova will play Irina-Camelia Begu of Romania, who’s seeded 31st.
Lastly, Linda Fruhvirtova also won her opener against American Katie Volynets. Fruhvirtova won 6-3, 7-5 after almost an hour and 45 minutes of play. Fruhvirtova lost only nine of her first-serve points. Fruhvirtova converted four break points on Volynets’ serve and saved three of five break points she faced.
However, all five of these came in the first set. The second set had just the one break of serve and that was of Volynets’. Looking to reach the third round of the Mutua Madrid Open for the first time in her career, Fruhvirtova will now play Jelena Ostapenko.
This will be the second time the two will be facing each other. The last time they met, at the 2023 Dubai Open, the Latvian pulled through without any problems.
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