Petra Kvitova and Victoria Azarenka make strong starts to Madrid Open campaigns

Petra Kvitova serving

Petra Kvitova and Victoria Azarenka have made strong starts to their Madrid Open, both winning comfortably in straight sets.

Kvitova, the world number two and defending champion, was far too good for Sofia Kenin, blasting her aside 6-1, 6-4.

The Czech, who won the Stuttgart Open last week, will not face either Barbora Strycova or Kristina Mladenovic in the second round.

Azarenka, meanwhile, fought her way past a resilient Daria Kasatkina 7-5, 6-4 to set up a likely match-up with Sloane Stephens next.

“It’s a first match, and first matches are not easy — especially here with the conditions and the altitude,” Azarenka told reporters afterwards.

“I think that winning without your A-game, against a player who is in her 20s and in the top 20, I think that is really a silver lining.”

Seventh-seeded Kiki Bertens opened with a 6-3, 6-2 win over Katerina Siniakova, while eighth-seed Andrea Petkovic lost to Polana Hercog 4-6, 7-6 (7-1), 6-1.

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