MADRID: Maria Sharapova advanced to the third round of the Madrid Open by beating Mariana Duque-Marino of Colombia 6-1, 6-2 on Tuesday but Petra Kvitova’s stuttering form continued with a 6-4, 2-6, 6-3 win against CoCo Vandeweghe.

Russia’s Maria Sharapova returns the ball to Mariana Duque Marino of Colombia during their Madrid Open match on Tuesday. —AP

Russia’s Maria Sharapova returns the ball to Mariana Duque Marino of Colombia during their Madrid Open match on Tuesday. —AP

Defending champion Sharapova, who is seeded third, broke Duque-Marino’s serve four times while saving three break points on her own serve.

The Russian’s next opponent will be Caroline Garcia of France, who beat the 14th-seeded Karolina Pliskova of the Czech Republic 6-2, 4-6, 6-1.

Fourth-seeded Czech Kvitova, who missed the Indian Wells and Miami tournaments because of exhaustion and suffered a first-round exit on indoor clay in Stuttgart last month, was in control when she lead by a set and 2-1.

American world number 36 Vandeweghe then took five games in a row to turn the match on its head and stood toe to toe with the Wimbledon champion in the decider before faltering.

Kvitova, also taken to three set by Olga Govortsova in the first round, broke in the eighth game when her opponent netted a forehand and she completed victory with a flourish.

Former runner-up Victoria Azarenka set up a third-round clash with top seed Serena Williams with a 6-3, 6-3 defeat of Croatian Ajla Tomljanovic. Serena needed just 58 minutes to beat fellow American Sloane Stephens 6-4, 6-0 in late action on Monday.

Viktor Troicki of Serbia stretches forward for a return shot during his match against France’s Gael Monfils at the Madrid Open. — AFP

Viktor Troicki of Serbia stretches forward for a return shot during his match against France’s Gael Monfils at the Madrid Open. — AFP

Also, Barbora Strycova of the Czech Republic beat Varvara Lepchenko of the United States 6-4, 6-2, and Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova of Russia rallied in a hard-fought second set to beat Sara Errani of Italy 3-6, 7-6 (9-7), 6-4.

Topping the early men’s programme on Tuesday was Bulgaria’s Grigor Dimitrov and French showman Gael Monfils.

Tenth seed Dimitrov was 6-4, 3-0 ahead when American opponent Donald Young quit with an injury, Monfils dropped only two games against Serbian Viktor Troicki while another Frenchman Jo-Wilfried Tsonga beat Lukas Rosol 7-5, 6-3

Fifth-seeded Milos Raonic of Canada served nine aces and broke Argentine player Juan Monaco’s serve twice to win 6-3, 6-4.

Fernando Verdasco, who lives in Madrid, beat fellow Spaniard Guillermo Garcia-Lopez 4-6, 6-2, 6-3 while Leonardo Mayer of Argentina beat Gilles Muller of Luxembourg 6-3, 6-3.

On Monday, US Open champion Marin Cilic of Croatia — seeded ninth — won just his third match of the year with a 7-5, 6-1 victory over Czech Jiri Vesely, David Goffin of Belgium rallied to defeat Ernests Gulbis of Latvia 3-6, 6-1, 7-5 and Joao Sousa of Portugal beat Jerzy Janowicz of Poland 6-4, 7-5.

Published in Dawn,

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