Tennis  

Top seeds in control at Madrid Open Tennis Championship

Czech Republic’s Karolina Pliskova returns the ball to<br />Ukraine’s Kateryna Kozlova during their WTA Madrid Open round of 32 tennis match at the Caja Magica in Madrid on May 7, 2019. (Photo by OSCAR DEL POZO / AFP)

Novak Djokovic won his first match easily to reach the third round of the Madrid Open Tennis Championship, while Naomi Osaka had a tougher battle in the women’s draw. In a day of mixed results, other ranked players advanced, except for the upset of France’s Gilles Simon by Bolivian Hugo Dellien.

Djokovic required one break of serve in the first set and a double break in the second to defeat America’s Taylor Fritz, 6/4; 6/2. It was a match with some hype, as the Serbian’s first outing on clay after losing in Monte Carlo.

Jeremy Chardy of France won the first set 6/2 while Alberto Ramos-Vinolas of Spain took a close second set 6/4. The third set was a close encounter as each player held serve for the first 11 games.

Serving to stay in the match at 5-6, Alberto faced first match-point at 30-40, but saved it. The Spaniard held the two consecutive advantage points, but was denied the game. On a second match point, the Frenchman achieved the break and won the set 7/5.

Marin Cilic of Croatia lost the first set 4/6 to Jan Lennard-Struff of Germany but the sixth seed found his form in the second when he held on to one break of serve to win 6/3. Struff lost his serve in the opening game of the third set and games proceeded routinely with serve and Cilic took the set 6/4 to reach the third round.

In the women’s draw, the top seed, Naomi Osaka had a close shave after winning the frist set tiebreak from Spain’s Sara Sorribes Tormo. The world number one dropped the second set 6-3, but dominated the third and won it 6/1.

The third seeded Simona Halep of Romania won a tight 7/5 first set in her match against Johanna Konta of Great Britain and then took the second set 6/1 from her opponent who is not comfortable on the clay surface.

In other matches, Fabio Fognini defeated Britain’s Kyle Edmund 6/3, 6/4 and Argentinean strongman, Diego Schwartzman outlasted Marco Cecchinatto of Italy in a marathon 6/0, 4/6, 6/1.

The upset of the day was the 4/6, 6/1, 7/6 (4) victory of Bolivia’s Hugo Dellien over France’s Gilles Simon. Hugo is 25 years old, while the 34-year-old Gilles is a veteran of many years and holder of 14 career titles after turning professional in 2002.

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