The Williams sisters had mixed fortunes at the Mutua Madrid Open on Monday, with Serena advancing while eolder sister Venus falling to the rising German Angelique Kerber.
Serena hit 14 aces and scored a 6-3, 6-1 win over Elena Vesnina.
“I always hate the 11 o’clock matches, but it’s okay,” Williams commented. “I tend to do really well when I play early, so I don’t know why I don’t like them. I wasn’t thrilled with my performance today, but I’m feeling good. I’d be thrilled if I got into the finals or something. This was just the first round.”
Serena will next meet Russian Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova, who she has beaten in both their previus matches.
Kerber was too strong and consistent for former World No.1 Venus and won comfortably 6-4, 6-1. She will next meet China’s Li Na, who beat Spanish wildcard Sílvia Soler-Espinosa, 6-3, 6-1.
“I’m very happy I could beat Venus. She’s a great player, a great champion and has won so many Grand Slams,” Kerber commented. “I played very well from the first point, so I’m very happy about it. It means a lot to me to win against her.”
US Open champion Sam Stosur, the No.5 seed, won eight straight games from 2-6, 4-4 to beat American Christina McHale 2-6, 6-4, 6-0.
“I knew it was going to be a late day, but I certainly didn’t think we would start at 10 o’clock and finish up at midnight,” Stosur commented. “It was tough to get going at the start but once I got out of that second set, I felt pretty good out there.
Italy’s Sara Errani beat Chanelle Scheepers, 4-6, 6-2, 6-3 for her 16th consecutive match win on clay. She wil now meet world No 3 Agnieszka Radwanska next.
“It has been a very good year for me,” Errani commented. “I’m feeling good on the court and to win 16 matches in a row on clay, I’m very happy for that. I’m hoping to continue like this. I hope to make another good match with Agnieszka.”
Spaniard Carla Suárez Navarro won a two-hour, 47-minute thriller against No.15 seed Jelena Jankovic, 4-6, 7-6(5), 6-4.
“I played well in Estoril last week and at Barcelona a few weeks ago too, so I was feeling good here as well,” Suárez Navarro told the press afterwards. “I knew it would be a very difficult match. I played a very complete game and kept going until the end, and I’m very happy right now. I really want to enjoy this victory.”
Defending champion Petra Kvitova beat Marina Erakovic, 6-2, 6-3.
“It was a good start to the tournament for me,” Kvitova told the media. “I have nice memories from last year here, but I’m not really thinking that I’m defending champion, because every week is a new week for us. It’s different playing on blue clay, but not that different really – it’s still clay, and Madrid and Rome are going to be very good preparation for Roland Garros coming up.”
MUTUA MADRID OPEN
Madrid, Spain – Monday, May 7, 2012
Singles – Second Round
(5) Samantha Stosur (AUS) d. Christina McHale (USA) 2-6, 6-4, 6-0
(8) Li Na (CHN) d. (WC) Sílvia Soler-Espinosa (ESP) 6-3, 6-1
(12) Angelique Kerber (GER) d. (WC) Venus Williams (USA) 6-4, 6-1
Petra Cetkovska (CZE) d. (Q) Lourdes Domínguez Lino (ESP) 6-4, 7-5
Singles – First Round
(3) Petra Kvitova (CZE) d. Marina Erakovic (NZL) 6-2, 6-3
(9) Serena Williams (USA) d. Elena Vesnina (RUS) 6-3, 6-1
(WC) Carla Suárez Navarro (ESP) d. (15) Jelena Jankovic (SRB) 4-6, 7-6(5), 6-4
Lucie Safarova (CZE) d. Kaia Kanepi (EST) 6-4, 6-4
Sara Errani (ITA) d. Chanelle Scheepers (RSA) 4-6, 6-2, 6-3
Ekaterina Makarova (RUS) d. Galina Voskoboeva (KAZ) 6-2, 7-6(3)
(Q) Lucie Hradecka (CZE) d. Peng Shuai (CHN) 6-4, 5-7, 6-4
(Q) Andrea Hlavackova (CZE) d. (Q) Anastasia Rodionova (AUS) 6-1, 6-4