The 2012 Mutua Madrid Open started with one of the top seeds exiting early as Sorana Cirstea ousted 7th seeded Marion Bartoli, 6-7 (6) 6-4 6-3. 2011 Roland Garros semi-finalist Bartoli has not started the clay court season well, losing in Charleston (green clay) to Polona Hercog and losing in Stuttgart (red clay) to Mona Barthel, both in the round of 16. Against Sorana, Marion led 3-1 in the second set and 2-0 in the final set yet couldn’t hold either lead. However, give Cirstea credit. She has a win this year over Samantha Stosur and Vera Zvonareva. The win over Stosur was especially impressive, knocking the reigning US Open champion out of her native Australian Open in the first round.
Speaking of Samantha Stosur and first round upsets, she barely escaped another against Petra Martic. The 2010 Roland Garros finalist eventually won a war of attrition with Martic, 7-5 4-6 7-6 (5). It was a match in which only 2 service games were broken. That is pretty impressive holding serve, particularly atypical of the women’s game lately. Stosur will need to get her game together quickly as she faces the dangerous young American player Christina McHale next.
Singles – First Round
(5) Samantha Stosur (AUS) d. Petra Martic (CRO) 75 46 76(5)
Sorana Cirstea (ROU) d. (7) Marion Bartoli (FRA) 67(6) 64 63
(8) Li Na (CHN) d. (WC) Garbiñe Muguruza Blanco (ESP) 62 64
Petra Cetkovska (CZE) d. (10) Vera Zvonareva (RUS) 62 62
Mona Barthel (GER) d. Julia Goerges (GER) 64 61
Christina McHale (USA) d. Sofia Arvidsson (SWE) 64 75
Klara Zakopalova (CZE) d. Iveta Benesova (CZE) 64 76(5)
(WC) Venus Williams (USA) d. Simona Halep (ROU) 61 46 76(6)
(WC) Sílvia Soler-Espinosa (ESP) d. Tamira Paszek (AUT) 67(2) 62 62
JELENA JANKOVIC and JO-WILFRIED TSONGA