The clay court season is in full swing as the bigger events kick off, starting with the completion of the first round at the 2014 Mutua Madrid Open. The top four seeds, including defending champion Serena Williams, all advanced in straight sets. Serena faced Belinda Bencic, a 17-year old Swiss player who is seen as a future star. Williams showed the teenager who is the shining star of tennis in the present with a 6-2 6-1 edification. Bencic will be better if she learns from the loss. Second seed Li Na had a bit of a tight second set in her 6-1 7-6 (7) victory over Kirsten Flipkens. Agnieszka Radwanska took out the fast rising fan favorite Eugenie Bouchard, 7-6 (3) 6-2. That’s a tough first round draw for Bouchard, who is capable of beating a lot of the players in this event. Rounding out the top 4 winners was Simona Halep rolling through Julia Goerges, 6-2 6-0.
Maria Sharapova is a name one would expect to see as a top 4 seed. Unfortunately, her ranking has slipped such that even coming off a title in Stuttgart at the Porsche Tennis Grand Prix she still has work to do to regain her rightful place in the tennis hierarchy. She, along with fellow Stuttgart finalist Ana Ivanovic, advanced to the second round in Madrid. Ana defeated young American Madison Keys in the first round, while Masha’s first round victory over Klara Koukalova sets her up with a second round test against young American Christina McHale.
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1 SERENA WILLIAMS (won 6-2 6-1 vs Belinda Bencic)
2 LI NA (won 6-1 7-6 (7) vs Kirsten Flipkens)
4 SIMONA HALEP (won 6-2 6-0 vs Julia Goerges)
5 PETRA KVITOVA (won 6-1 5-7 7-6 (4) vs Sorana Cirstea)
6 JELENA JANKOVIC (won 6-4 6-3 vs Elina Svitolina)
8 MARIA SHARAPOVA (won 6-1 6-2 vs Klara Koukalova)
10 SARA ERRANI (won 7-5 6-1 vs Andrea Petkovic)
11 ANA IVANOVIC (won 6-1 7-6 (4) vs Madison Keys)
13 CAROLINE WOZNIACKI (won 6-2 6-2 vs Ekaterina Makarova)