At the Mutua Madrid Open, Angelique Kerber is among those enjoying the new blue clay in the tennis world, especially now after taking out seven-time Grand Slam champion Venus Williams 6-4 6-1 in the second round, who as a wildcard competed in her third tournament since coming back after the diagnosis of Sjögren's syndrome.
The 12th-seeded Kerber does find the blue clay specific, but overall not in a bad way:
It doesn't matter to me where I play – blue clay, red clay, hardcourts. The blue clay is a little bit different though. It's very slippery and the balls bounce a little bit higher, but I feel good on it, and I'm in the third round now. I hope to continue like this.
Kerber recorded her first victory over Venus, who reached the quarterfinals of Miami and Charleston, the other two tournaments she played since the comeback.
In the first round of Madrid, Venus had a tough victory over Simona Halep, 6-1 4-6 7-6(6), while Kerber defeated Johanna Larsson 6-1 6-4. Kerber's next opponent will be eighth seed Li Na, who beat Spanish wildcard Silvia Soler-Espinosa, 6-3 6-1. (photo: Ralf Reinecke)