After winning 4 titles in 2014 along with 2 more runners-up, it seemed like Ana Ivanovic had turned a corner and would do big things in 2015. She finished runner-up to Maria Sharapova at the 2015 Brisbane International back in January, but since then it’s been a lean year save for a semifinal in Monterrey. Perhaps a deep run at the 2015 Mutua Madrid Open would be just what Ana needs. She took care of business against Elina Svitolina in 2nd round, 6-3 6-4. Svitolina was coming off a title last week in Marrakesh. So I would call that a good win at this point. It gets much tougher next round as Ana takes on Carla Suarez Navarro.
Also advancing, in relative ease, was women’s singles defending champion Maria Sharapova. Her 1 and 2 victory over Mariana Duque-Marino sets up a potentially dangerous clash with Caroline Garcia. Part of what has made Ana Ivanovic’s season a bit underwhelming has been three losses to Garcia, a rising French star. Clearly, Masha is the superior player. She doesn’t need her A game to beat Caroline…but she can’t come out with her C game, either or she will open the door for a Garcia upset.
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3 MARIA SHARAPOVA (won 6-1 6-2 vs Mariana Duque-Marino)
4 PETRA KVITOVA (won 6-4 2-6 6-3 vs Coco Vandeweghe)
7 ANA IVANOVIC (won 6-3 6-4 vs Elina Svitolina)
CAROLINE GARCIA (won 6-2 4-6 6-1 vs 14 Karolina Pliskova)