Madrid Day 3 Preview
Published May 06, 2012 11:06
MADRID, Spain - Defending champion Petra Kvitova and both Williams sisters will be among the former Grand Slam champions taking the court for first and second round action on Monday at the Mutua Madrid Open.
Monday, First Round
Marina Erakovic (NZL #39) vs.  Petra Kvitova (CZE #4)
Head-to-head: Kvitova leads 1-0
Madrid was one of six titles Petra Kvitova won in 2011, and she is hoping to win her first one of 2012 here too.
"It was my first big tournament win and it was a nice surprise for me to find out that I could play on clay and beat the top players," Kvitova said.
In her first clay tournament of the season, Kvitova was a semifinalist two weeks ago in Stuttgart. She said she is looking forward to the challenge of competing on blue clay. "It is something new for us and it looks very nice, very cool," she said. "Plus, I like the color."
Kvitova's first round opponent in Madrid, Marina Erakovic, comes into the tournament with a lot of momentum. Her run to the semifinals last week in Budapest was her fifth quarterfinal-or-better showing in the last 12 months and resulted in her making her Top 40 debut on the new rankings.
Elena Vesnina (RUS #68) vs.  Serena Williams (USA #9)
Head-to-head: Williams leads 2-0
Serena Williams is looking to put her previous Madrid appearances behind her, as she lost in the first round in 2009 and in the third round in 2010. However, she comes into this year's staging especially confident. She has a 17-2 record in 2012, including 7-0 on clay, though of course, her opener against Elena Vesnina will be her first career match on blue clay. Vesnina is coming off her best result of the year - a runner-up showing in Budapest. In her two previous meetings with Williams, she won just nine games combined.
 Angelique Kerber (GER #14) vs. [WC] Venus Williams (USA #72)
Head-to-head: Williams leads 1-0
Angelique Kerber is in the midst of a breakout season that has included both of her career titles and a rise to a career-high ranking of No.14. The last time Venus Williams made a final was at this event in 2010. She has won eight of the 10 matches she has played since returning to the WTA after being out of action for seven months. She was pushed to the brink of defeat in her opener here, needing a third set tie-break to get past Simona Halep.
Also on court...World No.5 Samantha Stosur takes on rising American teenager Christina McHale and Sara Errani looks to extend her clay court winning streak to 16 matches when she plays Chanelle Scheepers.