The first round of the 64 player draw of the Premier Level Mutual Madrid Open got underway on Saturday on the red clay of the La Caja Magica courts. In a matchup of two unseeded players, the 76th ranked Slovak veteran, Daniela Hantuchova, took on the up and coming 17th ranked American, Sloane Stephens. Stephens has not won two games in a row in any tournament since the Australian Open, while Hantuchova has had some good wins this year, notably those against Maria Kirilenko and Sara Errani. It took the experienced Slovak just an hour and twenty seven minutes to defeat the American in straight sets, 6-3 7-5.
In another match between two unseeded players, 29th ranked German Julia Goerges took on the 44th ranked Serb, Bojana Jovanovski. Both players are known for their powerful hitting but erratic form and in this match they both battled hard before Goerges took the first set. The German got the measure of her opponent early on in the second set and only allowed her one game, to serve out for a 6-4 6-1 victory and a place in the second round.
22nd ranked Kirsten Flipkens of Belgium played against another German, 30th ranked Mona Barthel – with both these players also not making the seedings. Flipkens has made a meteoric rise up the rankings in the past year, as she was not even ranked in the top 200 twelve months ago, and is continuing to play great tennis. Barthel has all the shots in the book as well as power, but the Belgian took less than an hour to roll past her 6-4 6-1 and move in to the next round.