Ashleigh Barty overcomes ‘very big challenge’ against familiar foe while Elina Svitolina crashes out

Ashleigh Barty in action

World No 1 Ashleigh Barty made it four wins in four matches against Shelby Rogers in 2021 as she brushed aside the American at the Madrid Open, but fourth seed Elina Svitolina made an early exit.

Former French Open champion Barty made light of Rogers as she dropped just three games, breaking twice in both sets to win 6-2, 6-1 in an hour.

“I’ve played Shelby many times this year… and it’s always a very big challenge,” Barty said after her victory. “I needed to make sure that I was at my very best to be able to compete today.”

She added: “Each one is different. Each one presents different challenges, different conditions. The rate that we’re going, we’ll play every month this year, just make it a tradition. We play each other once a month.”

The top seed, fresh from winning the Porsche Tennis Grand Prix over the weekend, will face Tamara Zidansek in the second round after the qualifier beat Hsieh Su-Wei 6-2, 6-4.

Barty, though, remains on a third-round collision course with reigning Roland Garros champion Iga Swiatek as the Pole booked her place in the second round with a dominant 6-1, 6-1 win over Alison Riske.

Defending Madrid Open champion Kiki Bertens also progressed as the seventh-seeded Dutchwoman beat wildcard Victoria Jiménez Kasintseva 6-4, 6-0 while three-time champion Petra Kvitova was advanced after Marie Bouzkova retired while 6-2, 2-3 down.

In section two, fourth seed Svitolina was the biggest casualty as she was beaten by Jill Teichmann with the Swiss player winning 2-6, 6-4, 7-6 (7-5).

Teichmann, who will face Spanish qualifier Paula Badosa next, saved six match points in the deciding set before winning in two hours and 36 minutes.

British No 1 Johanna Konta is also safely into the second round as she beat Yulia Putintseva 6-4, 6-2.

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