First of all, I'm glad to be back after a week-long Orthodox Easter holiday relaxation in the mountains – I got a bit blown away by the laid back lifestyle and nature and didn't feel like turning on my computer 😛 But here I am now, tuning back in during the early rounds of the Mutua Madrid Open and this Wednesday's most notable result was Ekaterina Makarova's upset of Victoria Azarenka in the second round.
Never before, in nine previous tries, had Makarova defeated a Top 3 player, and her today's victory is even more notable since Azarenka had been undefeated this season with a 18-0 record and in the first round of Madrid she eliminated last week's Portugal Open champion Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova.
The world No.3 Azarenka looked to be heading to a straightforward triumph after cruising through the first set 6-1, when the 24th-ranked Makarova raised her game to win the second set and rallied from 1-3 down in the third to score a 1-6 6-2 6-3 victory. At the two previous editions of the Madrid tournament Azarenka finished as the runner-up, but this time it was her first event since withdrawing prior to the Indian Wells quarterfinals in early March due to a right ankle injury. (photo: © Neal Trousdale)