Ashleigh Barty and Sloane Stephens bowed out of the Rogers Cup on a day of upsets in Toronto on Tuesday.

World number one Barty and last year's runner-up Stephens were two of five seeds to fall at the WTA Premier tournament in Canada.

While that pair departed in the second round, Madison Keys, Aryna Sabalenka and Anastasija Sevastova were first-round losers.

 

BARTY, STEPHENS BOW OUT

In action for the first time since Wimbledon, Barty suffered a shock 6-7 (5-7) 6-3 6-4 loss to American Sofia Kenin.

The Australian is now at risk of losing her top ranking, with Naomi Osaka and Karolina Pliskova having the chance to return to number one.

The only way Barty will remain number one is if Osaka loses her opening match and Pliskova fails to reach the semi-finals.

Runner-up last year, Stephens went down to qualifier Marie Bouzkova 6-2 7-5 for her third straight loss.

SEEDS SLIP UP

Keys almost got through her opener, but eventually lost to Donna Vekic 3-6 7-6 (7-5) 7-6 (7-5) after squandering three match points.

The American, runner-up in 2016, served for the match at 5-4 in the second set, only to give up a 40-0 lead before bowing out.

Sabalenka was also edged, going down to Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova 3-6 6-3 7-5.

Sevastova, the 10th seed, was beaten by China's Zhang Shuai 7-6 (7-5) 6-2, with Kiki Bertens the only seed to progress.

Bertens thrashed qualifier Francesca Di Lorenzo 6-2 6-1 in just over an hour.

 

AZARENKA POWERS THROUGH, VENUS DEPARTS

Victoria Azarenka booked her spot in the second round thanks to a 6-2 6-2 victory over Camila Giorgi.

The 2014 runner-up Venus Williams, meanwhile, was well beaten by Carla Suarez Navarro 6-4 6-2.

In an all-Canadian clash, Bianca Andreescu got the better of wildcard Eugenie Bouchard 4-6 6-1 6-4.

Victoria Azarenka was beaten by Donna Vekic at the Silicon Valley Classic, while two seeds made second-round exits on Thursday.

Azarenka went down to fifth seed Vekic 6-4 6-3 at the WTA Premier event played on hard-courts in San Jose, California.

Both players created eight break-point opportunities, but Vekic made the most of hers, converting five compared to Azarenka's three.

The Croatian moved into the quarter-finals, where qualifier Kristie Ahn awaits.

Ahn caused an upset with a 6-3 6-3 victory over Belgian third seed Elise Mertens.

Another seed, Danielle Collins, was also resoundingly beaten, suffering a 6-2 6-0 loss to Zheng Saisai.

Zheng will meet Amanda Anisimova after the 17-year-old fourth seed cruised past Madison Brengle 6-2 6-2.

Venus Williams' tough run of form continued with a first-round loss to Bethanie Mattek-Sands at the Silicon Valley Classic, while Victoria Azarenka cruised through.

Williams has won just two matches since the French Open and the American veteran went down to Mattek-Sands 6-7 (4-7) 6-3 6-1 in a battle of the wildcards at the WTA Premier tournament in San Jose, California on Tuesday.

The seven-time grand slam singles champion had won her previous four matches against Mattek-Sands, but that run came to an end.

Azarenka, meanwhile, is continuing to enjoy a fine season and was untroubled by qualifier Harmony Tan, winning 6-2 6-4.

The two-time Australian Open champion set up a last-16 clash with Donna Vekic, the Croatian fifth seed having overcome Misaki Doi 6-4 3-6 6-4.

Vekic was one of two seeds in action, with Danielle Collins also progressing, getting past Zhang Shuai 6-4 5-7 6-2.

Meanwhile, Zheng Saisai hammered Heather Watson 6-3 6-1 and Madison Brengle breezed past Andrea Petkovic 6-0 6-3.

Cori Gauff followed up her victory over Venus Williams by easing past Magdalena Rybarikova in straight sets to book her place in the third round at Wimbledon.

Teenage sensation Gauff showed her win against five-time Wimbledon champion Williams was no fluke with a dominant 6-3 6-3 triumph over Rybarikova on No.1 Court.

Earlier on Wednesday, Simona Halep progressed from an all-Romanian tie against Mihaela Buzarnescu, while third seed Karolina Pliskova continued her hunt for a first grand slam prize with a convincing 6-0 6-4 win over Monica Puig.

Caroline Wozniacki was made to work hard by debutant Wimbledon Veronika Kudermetova, eventually prevailing 7-6 (7-5) 6-3 victory, with Anett Kontaveit dispensing of Heather Watson.

It was not all plain sailing for the favourites, though, as Anastasija Sevastova and Madison Keys – 12th and 17th seeds respectively – crashed out.

Margarita Gasparyan, meanwhile, was left in tears as – after she suffered an awkward landing – she had to retire with the score at 5-7 6-5, handing eighth seed Elina Svitolina a reprieve.

HISTORY MAKING GAUFF ROLLS ON

Gauff stunned Williams in the first round, and clearly took plenty of confidence into Wednesday's clash with Rybarikova, making light work of her opponent to set up a third-round tie with Polona Hercog, who beat Keys 6-2 6-4.

"I think I played well, especially on the pressure points. She was serving amazing so it was hard to return sometimes," 15-year-old Gauff told BBC Sport.

"There's so much going on. I'm still shocked that I'm even here. I think I can beat anyone who's across the court. If I don't think I can win the match then I won't even step on the court."

 

HALEP HOLDS FIRM

Former world one Halep dominated early but lost her form in the second set to hand compatriot Buzarnescu a lifeline.

Halep rallied to break twice and win the third set, though, and she will now face two-time semi-finalist Victoria Azarenka, who overcame Ajla Tomljanovic 6-2 6-0.

"I think I'm playing okay. It's always tough on grass. But it was a tougher match than first one, so it was good that I could win it," Halep told a news conference. "I felt confident on court. I felt strong mentally."

 

WOZNIACKI EGES IT AS PLISKOVA CRUISES

Like Halep, Wozniacki was also run close in her contest with Kudermetova, who stunned the world number 19 when they met at the French Open in May.

Kudermetova forced a tie-break in the first set, but Wozniacki's experience eventually told when she reeled off the last two points in a row before closing out the win in style.

Pliskova, meanwhile, had no such issues against Puig, hitting nine aces and 23 total winners in her one-hour victory.

Naomi Osaka and Simona Halep were taken the distance in round two of the French Open on Thursday, while Serena Williams avoided the same fate.

World number one Osaka came from a set and a break down to defeat two-time major winner Victoria Azarenka 4-6 7-5 6-3 in an enthralling encounter on Court Suzanne-Lenglen, where Magda Linette made reigning champion Halep fight for a 6-4 5-7 6-3 victory.

Williams appeared to be in improving form as she dispatched Kurumi Nara 6-3 6-2, while Ashleigh Barty got past Danielle Collins 7-5 6-1 and Belinda Bencic triumphed in a meeting with Laura Siegemund that was held over from Wednesday.

Seeds Aryna Sabalenka (11), Qiang Wang (16), Daria Kasatkina (21), Caroline Garcia (24), Hsieh Su-wei (25) and Maria Sakkari (29) all bowed out. Madison Keys (14) and Lesia Tsurenko (27) were in third sets when their matches were suspended.

 

NAOMI'S TOXIC TRAIT

After overturning a dropped first set to Azarenka, Osaka admitted the way she puts pressure on herself can make things difficult. However, the winner of the past two grand slams has no intention of changing.

She said: "It's more like I feel like I have to win. I acknowledge that's kind of a toxic trait, but, like, it's gotten me this far, so..."

Halep looked set to crumble when she surrendered three match points and lost four games in succession to Linette, who forced a decider.

However, the Romanian managed to finish the job as the light faded and rain set in.

 

SERENA THANKED BY ANISMIOVA

Teenager Amanda Anisimova scored a second major victory over Sabalenka, who she also beat at the Australian Open, in impressive fashion, triumphing 6-4 6-2 in just 75 minutes to become the youngest American woman in round three at Roland Garros since Williams in 1998.

The 17-year-old revealed how words of encouragement from Williams helped her following a second-round loss to Anett Kontaveit at the Miami Open.

"It was a really long match and I was super upset in the locker room, Serena actually came up to me and we shared a little bit of a chat. That was really nice of her and I'll remember it forever," said Anisimova.

When asked about the incident, Williams said: "I was heartbroken when she walked into that locker room, and I wanted to be there for her because I have been there. It's an interesting position, because no one ever says anything, even though I feel like a lot of people want to. I just decided, I'm not gonna do that anymore."

 

SEEDS TUMBLE

Just four seeds in the top half of the draw have booked their place in round three (Osaka, Halep, Barty and Williams), while Keys and Tsurenko's chances remain in the balance.

Anna Blinkova frustrated the home fans as she guaranteed her deepest run at a grand slam by knocking out Garcia 1-6 6-4 6-4.

Iga Swiatek, making just her second main-draw appearance at a major, ousted Wang 6-3 6-0, before Andrea Petkovic and Olympic champion Monica Puig upset Hsieh and Kasatkina.

 

SAFAROVA SALUTED

Tributes were paid to Lucie Safarova on Court Philippe-Chatrier with the Czech having called time on her career after she and partner Dominika Cibulkova lost in the first round of the women's doubles on Wednesday.

Safarova, a runner-up to Serena Williams in the singles at Roland Garros in 2015 and two-time women's doubles champion with Bethanie Mattek-Sands, was presented with a trophy by French Tennis Federation president Bernard Guidicelli and French Open tournament director Guy Forget.

Naomi Osaka revealed she "felt like a challenger" during her second-round French Open clash with Victoria Azarenka.

World number one Osaka was forced to battle back from a set and a break down for the second time in two matches at Roland Garros as she defeated former top-ranked player Azarenka 4-6 7-5 6-3.

The Japanese has won the past two grand slams, but playing an opponent who twice claimed the Australian Open in 2012 and 2013, she claimed Azarenka felt like a scalp.

"I kind of felt like a challenger," Osaka told a news conference. "I know she went to the semis here before, so obviously she has a lot more experience here.

"She won grand slams and she was number one way before I was. I'm still kind of new at this. I don't know.

"For me, I have always wanted to play her while she was at her best. I know the last time I played her, in Rome, it definitely wasn't close, so I woke up excited today.

"Then I got really nervous - and then it got better."

Anna Karolina Schmiedlova had also pushed Osaka all the way in her opening match and the 21-year-old actually felt as if she played well against Azarenka despite facing a similar result.

"I think, for me, I feel like I didn't dip at all during this match," Osaka said. "[Azarenka] was just playing so well.

"I was just waiting for her to get a little bit tired. I think she did towards the end of the second set and the third set. That's when I just tried to really accelerate how fast I was winning the points."

It was put to Osaka that she showed calm as she battled back, yet the player disagreed, pointing to a missed opportunity late in the match that dragged out another two games.

"I choked on this side and I almost choked over there, too," she laughed on-court. "I'm very emotional, I think."

Naomi Osaka again had to battle from behind to keep her quest for French Open glory alive with a thrilling 4-6 7-5 6-3 victory over Victoria Azarenka in round two.

World number one Osaka had to twice stop Anna Karolina Schmiedlova serving out the match to avoid an upset in her opener at Roland Garros and recovered from a set and a break down to win through in two hours and 50 minutes on Court Suzanne-Lenglen on Thursday.

The reigning US Open and Australian Open champion, who is aiming to join an elite group of seven women to win three straight majors in the Open Era, paid the price for committing 15 unforced errors in the first set of what she correctly expected to be "one of the hardest matches of the year".

However, Osaka found the lines at the right time to force a decider, in which she denied former world number one Azarenka a first victory over the WTA's top-ranked player since giving birth to her son in December 2016.

Osaka said she had never been more nervous than in her opening match on Court Philippe-Chatrier and a change of location did not appear to make her feel more settled as she struggled in the early exchanges.

A trio of unforced errors saw her give up her serve in the opening game and Azarenka, who was performing brilliantly from the baseline, made it a double break when the Japanese failed with a volley at the net.

Osaka finally appeared to be finding her range but, despite reducing the deficit, a miscued forehand deservedly gave Azarenka the first set.

Osaka shrieked upon rushing in and burying a forehand into the net on her third opportunity to forge ahead in game four of the second and two-time Australian Open winner Azarenka punished her by holding and then breaking with a fine volley after the top seed's double fault sent the game to deuce.

The 21-year-old got back on serve courtesy of a double fault from Azarenka, who wasted three chances to go 5-3 up, and was playing on the limits when a sweet backhand found the line to convert set point at the fourth attempt.

Azarenka wasted three chances to break Osaka's serve at the start of the decider but the Japanese was not as forgiving, pouncing on her first opening by wrong-footing her opponent with a forehand into the corner.

The Belarusian was visibly frustrated and she made four errors in succession to open the door for Osaka to serve out the match, which she did at the second attempt and on her second match point.

 

STATISTICAL BREAKDOWN
Naomi Osaka [1] bt Victoria Azarenka 4-6 7-5 6-3

WINNERS/UNFORCED ERRORS

Osaka - 52/43
Azarenka - 35/38

ACES/DOUBLE FAULTS

Osaka - 6/1
Azarenka - 3/5

BREAK POINTS WON

Osaka - 5/14
Azarenka - 4/11

FIRST SERVE PERCENTAGE

Osaka – 62
Azarenka - 66

PERCENTAGE OF POINTS WON ON FIRST/SECOND SERVE

Osaka - 60/56
Azarenka - 59/43

TOTAL POINTS

Osaka – 115
Azarenka - 104

Jelena Ostapenko suffered defeat to Victoria Azarenka in the first round of the French Open on Tuesday as the Latvian continued her unusual record at Roland Garros.

Ostapenko produced a stunning run in 2017 to win the tournament with a shock victory over Simona Halep in the final.

However, outside of that incredible performance, Roland Garros has brought nothing but misery for Ostapenko, who has not won a main draw match at the French Open in any other year she has appeared.

The world number 39 slumped to a 6-4 7-6 (7-4) defeat to former world number one Azarenka, a defeat that made it three first-round exits in four years - she lost in qualifying in 2015.

Ostapenko said in her post-match media conference: "The opponent for the first round was, I think, one of the toughest in the draw.

"I think I was rushing too much. And also conditions were very tough. It was super windy today."

Azarenka faces a second-round clash with Naomi Osaka after the world number one come through her clash with Anna Karolina Schmiedlova in three sets.

Naomi Osaka's withdrawal preceded a fine birthday present for Johanna Konta, while there were three-set quarter-final wins for Karolina Pliskova and Maria Sakkari at the Internazionali d'Italia.

Top seed Osaka was forced to pull out in Rome ahead of her last-eight clash with Kiki Bertens due to a hand injury, opening up the draw for the remaining players.

Konta celebrated turning 28 in style by winning a three-setter with Marketa Vondrousova, while Pliskova also lasted the distance against Victoria Azarenka to seal a landmark win.

And Sakkari roared back against Kristina Mladenovic to maintain her hopes of triumphing at the WTA Premier event.

 

HAPPY BIRTH-CLAY, JO…

Konta is enjoying a career resurgence. The Briton reached a first final in almost 12 months in Rabat a fortnight ago, while she is now in her biggest semi since Wimbledon in 2017.

It was a back-and-forth match against Vondrousova, but ultimately Konta ran out a 6-3 3-6 6-1 victor.

Before this year, Konta had never managed to win three main-draw matches on clay in a given season but she now faces Bertens for a place in the final.

500 NOT OUT FOR PLISKOVA

In a battle between two former world number ones, Pliskova ousted Azarenka 6-7 (5-7) 6-2 6-2 for her 500th career victory.

Pliskova, this season's leader in three-set wins, was beaten by the same opponent in Stuttgart last month but has now levelled their head-to-head meetings at 4-4.

"I think the last couple years I know I'm playing a lot of three-setters," said Pliskova. 

"I'm not panicking if I lose first set or even the second. I'm just there. I keep fighting. I feel quite confident coming to the third set, because I know I won quite a lot in last couple of years."

Mladenovic seemed destined for the semis after taking the first set against Sakkari, but the Greek roared back to triumph 5-7 6-3 6-0.

Naomi Osaka won twice at the Internazionali d'Italia on a busy Thursday as Simona Halep played down fears over her fitness following a defeat to Marketa Vondrousova.

Halep had treatment on a leg injury during the third set of a 2-6 7-5 6-3 loss that confirmed Osaka will be the top seed at this year's French Open.

But the Romanian revealed there were no major issues ahead of attempting to defend her title at Roland Garros this month.

"Yesterday, I didn't do much. I had two days off, so it was a little bit tough to get back to this rhythm, very high rhythm," Halep told the WTA Tour.

"Nothing, like, tight or something broken. It's just a little bit of injury, which in a few days is going to be okay, I'm sure."

Vondrousova returned to the court later the same day, beating Daria Kasatkina 7-5 2-6 6-2 to reach the quarter-finals as the tournament caught up following Wednesday's washout.

 

OSAKA AT THE DOUBLE

There was some nice symmetry about Osaka's results, the Japanese beating Dominika Cibulkova and then Mihaela Buzarnescu 6-3 6-3.

She will next face the in-form Kiki Bertens, who extended her winning streak to eight matches with victories over Amanda Anisimova and Carla Suarez Navarro, though she needed three sets on each occasion.

In the same half of the draw, Vondrousova goes up against Johanna Konta for a place in the last four.

Konta made it through to the quarters of the event for the first time thanks to triumphs over American duo Sloane Stephens - the seventh seed going out in three sets - and Venus Williams, who had progressed to the last 16 after sister Serena pulled out due to a knee injury.

"I'm playing with a little more variety, a little more awareness and trust in my ability to do different things," Konta told the WTA Tour. [I'm] trying to use that in the right proportion during matches."

 

KVITOVA, MUGURUZA RETIRE IN ROME

Petra Kvitova was forced to cut short her clash with Maria Sakkari when trailing 4-0 in the deciding set, the second seed retiring following treatment on a left calf injury during a medical timeout.

Kvitova showed no concerns during her earlier clash with Yulia Putintseva, however, as she breezed to a 6-0 6-1 result in 54 minutes.

Sakkari will go up against Kristina Mladenovic following the latter's 6-2 6-3 triumph over eighth seed Ashleigh Barty.

Karolina Pliskova survived a scare against Sofia Kenin, though, the fourth seed rallying from a set and a break down to eventually oust the American.

Her opponent will be Victoria Azarenka, who was 6-4 3-1 up against Garbine Muguruza when her opponent retired due to a left thigh injury. 

The withdrawal of Serena Williams was accompanied by two high-profile retirements from the women's singles draw at the Internazionali d'Italia on Tuesday, before defending champion Elina Svitolina was eliminated in stunning fashion by Victoria Azarenka.

Either side of Williams pulling out of her scheduled second-round match with sister Venus due to an ongoing left knee problem, Caroline Wozniacki and Jelena Ostapenko were each forced to call an early halt to their respective contests in Rome.

Svitolina - seeking a third title in a row in Rome - then blew a 4-1 lead in the third set of a rain-hit duel with Azarenka, as the latter saved a match point and completed an unlikely comeback to triumph 4-6 6-1 7-5.

Wozniacki retired from her clash with Danielle Collins after losing the first set in a tie-break, a calf injury the issue on this occasion after back trouble prevented her from completing a match against Alize Cornet in Madrid last week.

Ostapenko, meanwhile, was a game away from defeat against Mihaela Buzarnescu when she stopped the tie, the Latvian later citing a fever as the reason.

Karolina Pliskova and Ashleigh Barty both progressed to the last 16, but fellow seeds Aryna Sabalenka and Anastasija Sevastova were beaten by Cornet and Belinda Bencic respectively.

 

AZARENKA COMES BACK FROM THE BRINK TO OUST REIGNING CHAMPION

Svitolina is still working her way back from a knee injury and a lack of match sharpness perhaps contributed to her painful defeat at the hands of Azarenka.

Despite being blown away in the second set - which was repeatedly interrupted by rain - after taking the first, the Ukrainian looked likely to progress when she claimed three successive breaks of serve at the start of the decider, either side of being broken once herself.

However, despite enjoying a fourth success on the Azarenka serve, Svitolina was sensationally beaten as her rival reeled off five games in a row from 5-2 down, saving a match point in the first of those.

 

WILLIAMS WOE CONTINUES

After reaching the quarter-finals of the Australian Open in January, Williams has now failed to finish three tournaments in succession.

A viral illness ended her participation in the Indian Wells Open, while an ongoing issue with her left knee has derailed her campaigns in Miami and Rome.

In a statement on Tuesday, the 23-time grand slam singles champion said she looked forward "to seeing you all at the French Open", but her preparation for Roland Garros has been anything but ideal.

 

OSTAPENKO EXPLAINS LATE RETIREMENT

It is never a great look to retire when you are trailing 6-2 5-4, but Ostapenko - the 2017 French Open champion - took to social media to defend her premature stoppage against Buzarnescu.

"It really sucks when you have to retire from a match at one of your favourite tournaments," she wrote in an Instagram story. 

"Unfortunately, I felt really bad today out there on court and had a fever [of] 38.1 [degrees], so I couldn't continue the match.

"I feel really sad about it, but I will do everything possible to recover as quick as I can."

Serena Williams will face her sister Venus in the second round of the Internazionali d'Italia after they secured contrasting first-round victories on Monday.

Tenth seed Serena started her clay-court season with a commanding 6-4 6-2 over Rebecca Peterson at the Foro Italico.

The 23-time grand slam champion will do battle with her older sibling 21 years after their only other previous match in Rome, which Venus won at the quarter-final stage.

Venus, unseeded in the Eternal City, came through an almighty tussle with Elise Mertens 7-5 3-6 7-6 (7-4).

Madison Keys, Anett Kontaveit, Garbine Muguruza and Victoria Azarenka also made it through to the second round along with Amanda Anisimova, who will face newly-crowned Madrid Open champion Kiki Bertens.

SERENA LAYS DOWN A MARKER

Former world number one Serena overpowered Peterson in the opening match of what is only her fourth tournament of the year.

The 37-year-old, still eyeing a first title since becoming a mother in 2017, took only an hour and 16 minutes to get past the Swede in her first match in two months, having withdrawn from the Miami Open due to a left knee injury.

Serena, who will face Venus for a 31st time on the WTA Tour, said: "It felt good to be back in the match. It's been a while. I haven't played a ton of matches this year.

"Not my choice, just by force. I really, really actually desperately wanted to be on the tour and to be playing, but it hasn't been able to work out. It felt good to finally be back out. Hopefully I'll be able to keep it up."

 

VENUS STILL HAS THE STAYING POWER

Mertens would not go down without a fight as she refused to accept defeat against Venus.

The Belgian saved eight match points to force a decisive tie-break, with Venus unable to shake off an opponent 15 years younger than her.

Venus finally saw it out after three hours and two minutes on Grandstand Court, ending a contest that included 15 breaks of serve.

 

OSAKA TO FACE CIBULKOVA

Naomi Osaka will start her mission to retain world number one status and be top seed at the French Open with a clash against Dominika Cibulkova on Wednesday.

Osaka will achieve both of those goals if she makes it through to the quarter-finals this week, while Simona Halep must win the title to have any chance of replacing her.

Cibulkova saw off Aliaksandra Sasnovich 6-2 6-3 to avoid a first-round exit.

Petra Kvitova was encouraged by the way she was able to "fight it out" to beat Kristina Mladenovic, while Sloane Stephens knocked Victoria Azarenka out of the Madrid Open on Monday.

Second seed Kvitova - bidding to become the first woman to win a WTA Premier Mandatory tournament four times - had to dig deep for a 6-3 7-6 (7-5) victory on Court Manolo Santana.

Stephens was another leading to contender to advance at the Caja Magica, seeing off Azarenka 6-4 2-6 6-2 to reach the last 16.

Ashleigh Barty was also taken the distance, getting past Danielle Collins 6-1 1-6 6-1 as the Australian eyes back-to-back titles following her Miami Open triumph.

Kiki Bertens overcame Jelena Ostapenko 6-4 6-3, while Anastasija Sevastova, Yulia Putintseva, Viktoria Kuzmova and Belinda Bencic started the week with victories. 

 

 

KVITOVA SHOWS GRIT IN PURSUIT OF HISTORY

Kvitova made 38 unforced errors to 31 winners in an unconvincing performance, but battled to get through in straight sets after coming under pressure from Mladenovic in the second.

The defending champion, on a high after winning the Stuttgart Open, said: "I'm trying to play well on all surfaces which I think is really showing and it was a pretty difficult match,

"I fought hard in the end and that is what is counting. The clay and the conditions here are a bit different compared to other venues, so I always needed time to fight it out."

Sorana Cirstea or Caroline Garcia will be Kvitova's third-round opponent.

 

STEPHENS WINS BATTLE OF MAJOR CHAMPIONS

Stephens stretched her winning streak against Azarenka to four matches, having lost the first three against the two-time major champion. 

The 2017 US Open champion did not face a break point in the first set, but was broken twice in the second.

Stephens pulled away in the decider, winning four games in a row to set up a meeting with Zheng Saisai or Alize Cornet.

 

BARTY WINNING RUN INTO DOUBLE FIGURES

Barty stretched her sequence of victories to 10 matches, but Collins threatened to bring her back down to earth in the Spanish capital.

The ninth seed struck only 18 winners and made just 19 unforced errors in a contest which swung one way, then the other.

Barty will face Putintseva in her third-round match in Madrid after the Kazakh got past Pauline Parmentier, conqueror of Elina Svitolina in the opening round.

Elina Svitolina was dumped out of the Madrid Open by Pauline Parmentier and Caroline Wozniacki retired due to a back injury after top seed Naomi Osaka moved into the second round on Sunday.

Svitolina has been struggling with a knee injury but said she was prepared to give it a go and start her clay-court season at the Caja Magica.

The WTA Finals champion bowed out in the second day of the tournament in the Spanish capital with a 6-4 7-6 (8-6) defeat to world number 69 Parmentier.

Wozniacki, the 11th seed, decided she could not continue after losing the opening three games of her encounter with Alize Cornet.

Madison Keys, Wang Qiang and Julia Goerges were the other seeds to suffer first-round exits, with Garbine Muguruza also dumped out. 

Sorana Cirstea beat Keys 3-6 6-4 6-1, while Donna Vekic accounted for Wang 7-5 6-4, Goerges lost 7-5 6-4 to Viktoria Kuzmova and Petra Martic sent Muguruza packing 7-5 7-6 (7-2).

World number one Osaka got past Dominika Cibulkova 6-2 7-6 (8-6), going through along with Simona Halep, Karolina Pliskova, Angelique Kerber and Sloane Stephens.

 

OSAKA THROUGH 'ADJUSTMENT PERIOD' ON CLAY

Top seed Osaka struck 43 winners in a typically aggressive display against Cibulkova and will take on Sara Sorribes Tormo in round two.

The US Open and Australian Open champion believes she is ready to make more of an impact on clay this season.

"I feel like there's, like, an adjustment period for me and it took a few years," said the 21-year-old. "But now I'm more comfortable [on clay]. I'm not sure if it's because I had a really long training block before I came to start the season, but yeah, it feels good."

 

PLISKOVA BACK FROM THE BRINK, HALEP AND KERBER THROUGH IN TWO

Fifth seed Pliskova saved four match points as she came from behind to beat Dayana Yastremska.

The former world number one, who has appointed Conchita Martínez as coach on a full-time basis, fought back to win 5-7 7-6 (7-5) 6-3.

There was no such trouble for Halep, a 6-0 6-4 winner against Margarita Gasparyan, and Kerber eased to a 6-3 6-2 defeat of Lesia Tsurenko.

 

STEPHENS SETS UP AZARENKA CLASH AT THE END OF MEMORABLE WEEK

Eighth seed Stephens got engaged to footballer Jozy Altidore and added Sven Groeneveld to her coach this week.

The 2017 US Open champion ended a hectic few days by seeing off Polona Hercog 6-2 7-6 (7-4) and will take on Victoria Azarenka in round two.

Petra Kvitova started her bid to secure a record-breaking Madrid Open title with a straight-sets defeat of Sofia Kenin.

Defending champion Kvitova is striving to be the first woman to win a Premier Mandatory tournament four times and eased into the second round with a 6-1 6-4 win on Saturday.

Up to second in the rankings after winning the Stuttgart Open last weekend, the two-time Wimbledon champion breezed into a 5-0 lead at the Caja Magica and went on to secure a meeting with Barbora Strycova or Kristina Mladenovic.

Kiki Bertens, runner-up last year in the Spanish capital last year, defeated Katerina Siniakova 6-3 6-2 in the final match of the day. 

Seeds Aryna Sabalenka and Anett Kontaveit bowed out with defeats to Svetlana Kuznetsova and Aliaksandra Sasnovich respectively on day one, while Ashleigh Barty knocked out fellow Australian Daria Gavrilova.

 

KVITOVA IN CRUISE CONTROL

Kvitova carried on where she left off in Germany last week, dominating 20-year-old American Kenin in a one-sided opening set.

Kenin showed character to put up a fight in the second set, getting back on serve at 4-4 after going 2-0 down.

Kvitova broke straight back and served out the match, having served nine aces and won 71 per cent of points on her first serve. 

 

BARTY DASHES GAVRILOVA HOPES

Barty claimed the biggest title of her career at the Miami Open in March and hit the ground running on clay.

The world number nine said she is ready to do some damage on what is her least favourite surface and showed no mercy on compatriot Gavrilova.

Barty attacked her Fed Cup team-mate's serve on Court Manolo Santana, breaking three times in each set to seal victory in only 65 minutes and book an encounter with Danielle Collins or Vera Zvonareva.

 

IN-FORM KONTAVEIT AND SABALENKA SLIP UP

Kontaveit was beaten by Kvitova in the Stuttgart decider last weekend after reaching the semi-finals of the Miami Open, but Sasnovich recovered from a first-set bagel to beat the 14th seed 0-6 6-3 6-2.

Wildcard Kuznetsova accounted for 10th seed Sabalenka 7-5 6-4, while Victoria Azarenka could face Sloane Stephens in round two after a 7-5 6-4 success over Daria Kasatkina.

Jelena Ostapenko, Caroline Garcia, Anastasija Sevastova and Yulia Putintseva also advanced.

Page 1 of 4
© 2018 SportsMaxTV All Rights Reserved.