Strycova stuns Kerber in Madrid

On the first day of the WTA Madrid Open, Barbora Strycova caused the biggest upset as she sent Angelique Kerber crashing out of the tournament.

Strycova shocked the world number three by beating her 6-4, 6-2.

Prior to the encounter it was hard to see how the match would end in anything but a victory for Kerber. The German, who won the Australian Open earlier this year, had not dropped a set against Strycova in their previous four encounters.

The pair last met in the second round of the Miami Open where Kerber only lost two games en route to a straight-sets success.

However, Sunday was different as Kerber struggled on serve – she was broken four times in nine service games. Strycova on the other hand suffered no such problems as she consistently landed her first serve in play and followed that up with solid ground strokes and ruthlessness at the net.

Speaking after the match, Strycova was delighted that she was able to overcome the mental-block that she had previously experienced when facing Kerber.

“I went into this match thinking I had nothing to lose. I mean, it can’t be worse than Miami,” Strycova remarked.

“I’m happy about my performance today. I stuck with the game my coach told me, and I was kind of in the zone and stable, which I’m happy about the most.

“We have similar games. She’s a very patient player with good defence. It’s tough to win a point against her because she puts every ball back.

“But I tried to be patient today and it worked; that’s the way I have to be on court, and I’m practicing that.”

Awaiting Strycova in the second round is Madison Keys, who recovered from a disastrous start against qualifier Alison Riske to emerge victorious 1-6, 6-3, 6-4.

Elsewhere on a busy day in Madrid, there were wins for local favourites Carla Suárez Navarro and Garbiñe Muguruza.

While Daria Gavrilova, Ana Ivanovic, Sabine Lisicki, Simona Halep, Petra Kvitova, Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova and Danka Kovinic also all recorded wins.

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