Yulia Putintseva of Kazakhstan, ranked a lowly 88, took on the might and power of Serena Williams on Manolo Santana Court at the Matua Madrid Open on Sunday afternoon in a first round match. The 18 year old Kazakh qualifier really gave the spectators a special show when she went toe to toe with the reigning champion, taking Williams to a tie break in the first set. The American took the breaker 7-5, which seemed to deflate Putintseva, who could only manage one game in the second set. Serena won in one hour thirty seven minutes to set up a second round meeting with the Spanish wild card, Lourdes Domingues Lino.
Another of the seeds to have a tough match was 8th seeded Czech Petra Kvitova, who took on the 36th ranked Belgian, Yanina Wickmayer, also in a first round match. In an error strewn match characterised by Wickmayer’s ten and Kvitova’s nine double faults, Wickmayer took the first set 6-4, but the Czech found her range in the second set and took it 7-5 to force a decider. Kvitova eventually served at for a 6-4 third set to book her place in the second round where she will meet Daniela Hantuchova.
Slovak Dominika Cibulkova, the tournament’s 15th seed, met the 71st ranked Ukranian, Lesia Tsurenko in her first round match on Sunday afternoon. The diminutive Slovak had little trouble, disposing of Tsurenko 6-3 6-2 in just an hour and fourteen minutes on court. Her next opponent will be Sabine Lisicki of Germany.