First Round Action Kicks Off in Madrid

The first round began at the Mutua Madrileña Madrid Open Saturday. Elena Dementieva and Nadia Petrova were among the winners.

Published May 09, 2009 12:00

First Round Action Kicks Off in Madrid
Anna Chakvetadze

MADRID, Spain - The first round kicked off at the Mutua Madrileña Madrid Open on Saturday, with world Top 10 stars Elena Dementieva and Nadia Petrova among the winners at the brand new Magic Box venue.

Dementieva, ranked and seeded No.3, edged Bethanie Mattek-Sands in the first set then totally rolled over the American in the second set for a 64 61 win in the first round. Dementieva is playing her first tournament since a semifinal showing in Stuttgart last week, electing to skip Rome. It may not have helped her ranking, as she is projected to dip to No.5 on Monday, with Jelena Jankovic staying at No.4 and Venus Williams rising from No.5 to No.3; both Jankovic and Williams made it far in Rome (to the quarterfinals and semis).

Petrova, ranked No.10 in the world and the No.8 seed in Madrid, had even fewer problems in her first round match, advancing with a 60 21 retirement win as Iveta Benesova was forced to stop playing due to a viral illness.

The two other seeds in action on Day 1 of the new $4.5-million tournament had mixed fortunes, as No.15 seed Zheng Jie beat Maria Kirilenko, 64 64, but No.11 seed Marion Bartoli was upset by Aleksandra Wozniak, 76(2) 62.

Anna Chakvetadze, Alisa Kleybanova and Virginie Razzano also earned first round wins, over Virginia Ruano Pascual, Sílvia Soler Espinosa and Tamarine Tanasugarn, respectively. Razzano was the only one pushed to three sets.

Roberta Vinci, Elena Vesnina, Anna-Lena Groenefeld, Vera Dushevina, Akgul Amanmuradova, Aravane Rezai, Mariana Duque Marino and Varvara Lepchenko all earned berths in the main draw with wins in the final round of qualifying. Groenefeld and Dushevina had to double up, winning two qualifying matches.

Another 14 first round matches will take the court on Sunday, with Jankovic being the only Top 10 player on the schedule. Agnieszka Radwanska, Alizé Cornet, Flavia Pennetta, Anabel Medina Garrigues, Kaia Kanepi and Patty Schnyder, all of whom are ranked between No.11 and No.20, are the next-highest in action.

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