Mutua Madrid Open: Aryna Sabalenka sees off Sorana Cirstea in 2R to begin campaign

Mayar Sherif ousted Anhelina Kalinina to move into the round-of-32

by Abbey Johnson
Mutua Madrid Open: Aryna Sabalenka sees off Sorana Cirstea in 2R to begin campaign

Aryna Sabalenka won her opening-round match at the Mutua Madrid Open on Thursday. The second-highest seed in the draw defeated Sorana Cirstea 6-4, 6-3 in 82 minutes to advance to the round-of-16. This was the second time the two were playing this season.

The last time they played, in the quarter-finals of the Miami Open, Cirstea upset the 2023 Australian Open champion. It was also the first time they’d clashed against each other on the WTA Tour. In the ongoing WTA 1000 event, Sabalenka didn’t give Cirstea much chance to go 2-0 against her.

Sabalenka converted all five break points she had on the Romanian’s serve and saved six of the eight break points she faced. She also hit seven aces for the match against Cirstea’s one. The second seed finished with 13 more points to Cirstea’s 54 for the match.

Post-match, Sabalenka said, “It was a great match. I didn't hit on the centre court since I arrived in Stuttgart. I'm super happy to get this win, especially against a player I lost to recently. So, it was very important for me.

I was happy with the way I was focused and fighting for every point no matter what”. Next, wanting to make it to the round-of-16, the 2021 Madrid winner will play Camila Osorio.

Mutua Madrid Open: Paula Badosa avoids an early exit

Fifth seed Caroline Garcia also made it through her opener against Yulia Putintseva.

The Frenchwoman won 6-3, 6-4 against the Kazakh after an hour and 35 minutes of play. Garcia won 68% of her first-serve points to Putintseva’s 59% and 52% of her second-serve points and 57% points on return on the latter’s second serve.

Garcia lost her serve only once across the match and converted three break points. Mayar Sherif will be Garcia’s next opponent. The Egyptian upset 30th-seeded Ukrainian Anhelina Kalinina 6-2, 7-6(3) in their second-round match.

Local favourite and the highest-ranked Spaniard, Paula Badosa also won her round-of-64 match-up at the Mutua Madrid Open. The 26th seed had to fight past Elisabetta Cocciaretto, eventually 6-3, 4-6, 6-4 against the Italian.

Aryna Sabalenka Sorana Cirstea Anhelina Kalinina