Clay court season is well under way now and the first WTA 1000 event of the season will be in Madrid. The 2021 Mutua Madrid Open will host the best players around the world over the next two weeks. The first-round matches have some blockbuster encounters ahead. Here are the best ones and the ones you must watch.
WTA Mutua Madrid Open First Round Matches to Watch
Ashleigh Barty vs Shelby Rogers
World No.1 Ashleigh Barty will face Shelby Rogers. This will be a tricky opponent for the Australian as the American is a decent clay court player. Nonetheless, the Aussie is in fine form as she just comes from winning the Stuttgart Open by defeating Aryna Sabalenka.
Last time these two met they went into three tough sets in clay at the Volvo Car Open in Charleston earlier this month. The Australian came on top and recorded her fourth win against the American. She will try to continue her undefeated streak against Shelby Rogers. To sum up this matchup, the Australian looks strong in this match, but she will be forced to play at a high level as the American will not make it easy for the Australian.
Petra Kvitova vs Marie Bouzkova
Marie Bouzkova won their only encounter last year at the Western & Southern Open in three sets. However, that was on hard court and this time around it will be in a clay court. Petra Kvitova is coming from a quarterfinal’s appearance at the Stuttgart Open, while Marie Bouzkova comes from a first round loss to Marketa Vondrousova.
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Petra Kvitova has had much more success here as she has won this event three times, and she will look to be in the final once again as she did when this event was last played in 2019. No doubt this match will be a great one as both players are very good. Despite that, Petra Kvitova is the heavy favorite, but she must get pass her compatriot who will put up a fight, nonetheless.
Jessica Pegula vs Sorana Cirstea
This match might be one of the best if not the best of the bunch. Both players are in form. The Romanian comes from winning the Istanbul Open against Elise Mertens. She did not drop a set throughout that tournament and will look to continue her fine form against the American.
On the other hand, Jessica Pegula has not played since the Miami Open. Despite that, she has been playing lights out and will try to continue her impressive form in the hard courts to the clay courts. Indeed, this match is a great one and the last time these players met was back in 2015. Their series is tied at one a piece, so whoever wins will be on top for the time being.
Simona Halep vs Sara Sorribes Tormo
It will be a tough match for the Romanian as she is playing a Spanish player who is playing incredible. The young Spaniard has recently won her first WTA title and will try to stun the former World No. 1. As much as that sounds great Simona Halep is the clear favorite. She comes from reaching the semifinals at the Stuttgart Open.
Halep is a two-time runner up at the Madrid Open and will try to change that this year. It will definitely not be an easy opening match, but to be the best you have to beat the best. This is a great opportunity for the Romanian to showcase her skills early on in the tournament.
The clay-court season is well under way now and the first premiere 1000 event of the season will be in Madrid. The 2021 Mutua Madrid Open will host the best players from the tennis world in the next two weeks. The first-round matches have some blockbuster encounters ahead. Here are the best ones and the ones you must watch.
Garbiñe Muguruza vs Sloane Stephens
The head-to-head series between these two players is tied two matches a piece. We will see who will go on top in their series. At the moment, the Spaniard is the heavy favorite as she started the year strong. On the contrary, the same cannot be said for the American. She has not played very well throughout the year but will try to change that in this tournament.
The Spaniard will try to go far in her home tournament but the American will try to shatter her dreams in the first round. Curiously, these two players have not gone in three sets every time they have met. The winner won in straight sets and that could change as both players are hungry to win for different reasons.
Other Matches To Watch
There are other matches to watch, including: Iga Swiatek vs Alison Riske, Angelique Kerber vs Marketa Vondrousova, Elina Svitolina vs Jil Teichmann, Victoria Azarenka vs Ekaterina Alexandrova, Karolina Pliskova vs Coco Gauff, Madison Keys vs Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova, Jelena Ostapenko vs Svetlana Kuznetsova, Maria Sakkari vs Amanda Anisimova, and Jennifer Brady vs Venus Williams.
Wow, these matches are great and unquestionably the Madrid Open is fully loaded with blockbuster games in the first round. You don’t have to wait any further to watch some high-level tennis. Each match is worthy of watching as some matches could have been played in the later stages of the tournament.
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