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Madrid Day 2 Preview

Sunday sees No.1 seed Victoria Azarenka kick off her Madrid campaign, while Caroline Wozniacki takes on Ksenia Pervak in a tricky opener.

Published May 05, 2012 11:43

Madrid Day 2 Preview
Caroline Wozniacki

MADRID, Spain - Sunday sees Victoria Azarenka and Maria Sharapova kick off their campaigns, while 2009 runner-up Caroline Wozniacki takes on Ksenia Pervak in a tricky opener.

Sunday, First Round

Manolo Santana
[6] Caroline Wozniacki (DEN #6) vs. Ksenia Pervak (KAZ #38)
Wozniacki leads 1-0
The opening four months of 2012 have not been kind to Caroline Wozniacki. The 21-year-old has lost her No.1 ranking, is yet to pick up a title and has suffered a string of surprise defeats. Yet only a fool would write off the talented Dane, who will be desperate to return to the winner's circle on Sunday. Yet before she can even contemplate this, she must first avoid a potential first round banana skin in the form of Ksenia Pervak. Wozniacki's compact baseline game and superb movement should be more than enough to emerge victorious, but should she be suffering any lingering self-doubts from her recent travails then Pervak could be ready to pounce.

[1] Victoria Azarenka (BLR #1) vs. Svetlana Kuznetsova (RUS #26)
Kuznetsova leads 4-2
It is not often that Victoria Azarenka takes on a first round opponent with a winning head-to-head record against her. Svetlana Kuznetsova, though, is no ordinary first round opponent; the Russian is a former World No.2 and 13-time WTA title winner - a haul that includes the 2009 French Open title. While the Russian may hold the bragging rights in terms of past meetings, this season has been all about Azarenka. With 29 wins, four titles and just two defeats, she is in the form of her life and Kuznetsova, who has gone 13-9 in 2012, will need to roll back the years if she is to stand any chance of springing the upset.

Irina-Camelia Begu (ROU #56) vs. [2] Maria Sharapova (RUS #2)
first meeting
Can Maria Sharapova finally win at Roland Garros and complete her Grand Slam collection? Well, judging by her recent title run in Stuttgart, then the answer is yes. And another impressive showing on the clay in Madrid will go a long way to convincing any remaining Doubting Thomases. However, the No.2 seed has been given a fiendishly difficult draw in the Spanish capital, starting with the fast-improving Irina-Camelia Begu. Although Begu has only once been beyond the first round at a Premier event, she knows her way around a clay court and could pose a problem or two should Sharapova have any first week cobwebs to shake off.

Also on court…
In-form Agnieszka Radwanska faces Spanish wildcard Lara Arruabarrena-Vecino over on Arantxa Sánchez-Vicario, while former French Open champs Francesca Schiavone and Ana Ivanovic take on Varvara Lepchenko and Mathilde Johansson respectively.

For more on today's matches, see our Match Notes in the Press Center.

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