Sloane Stephens and Petra Kvitova make strong starts to Madrid Open campaigns
Sloane Stephens advanced into the last 16 of the Madrid Open after continuing her dominance over former world number one Victoria Azarenka.
Stephens had won her previous three matches against Azarenka, and she made that four with a battling 6-4, 2-6, 6-2 victory.
Second seed Petra Kvitova is also through on what was a strong day for the fancied names.
Kvitova, the defending champion, overcame 2017 finalist Kristina Mladenovic 6-3 7-6 (7-5) in her bid for a fourth title in the Spanish capital.
“I’m glad I won the tiebreak. That is my kind of issue sometimes, but overall it was pretty tight,” Kvitova said.
“I fought hard in the end.”
Elsewhere, Kiki Bertens, who Kvitova beat in the final last year, beat Jelena Ostapenko 6-4, 6-3, and Ashleigh Barty defeated American Danielle Collins 6-1, 1-6, 6-1 to take her current winning streak to 10 matches.
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