Monday at the 2014 Mutua Madrid Open was overshadowed by the devastating news of Elana Baltacha's passing, the popular former British #1 left a mark with many players, officials and fans on the WTA circuit, leaving many minds wandering to more important things than just match scores, points & tactics today.
Photos by: Jimmie48
While the show of course had to go on, Baltacha was honored with a small ceremony on the Caja Magica's center court in the evening as WTA & ATP players lined up for a short remembering ceremony and a moment of silence afterwards.
Of course, there was no shortage of tennis as first-round action commenced, with several top players making their start into the tournament. Li Na was among them, the Chinese got past Belgian Kirsten Flipkens in two sets. Afterwards, center court was the scene of an exciting duel between one of the WTA's current top players and a future prospect as Agniezska Radwanska faced off with Eugenie Bouchard.
The popular Canadian had little to bother the crafty Polish world #3 with though, Radwanska didn't even drop a set on her way into the tournament's second round.
One of the last top seeds to start her 2014 Mutua Madrid Open bid was Simona Halep. Following her disappointing loss to Svetlana Kuznetsova in Stuttgart, the Romanian rebounded in style, serving German Julia Görges a bagel in the second set of what was a swift two-set win.
Another Stuttgart casualty, Caroline Wozniacki, returned to her winning ways as well. The Danish former world #1 had to retire from the German event with a wrist injury and despite still sporting a thick tape around her wrist, Wozniacki made a comfortable move into the second round by beating Ekaterina Makarova in two sets.
The second round of the 2014 Mutua Madrid Open will get into higher gear tomorrow as Maria Sharapova, Ana Ivanovic and several others will continue their pursuit of one of the most prestigious clay titles of the season. Women's Tennis Blog will follow them every step along the way so keep checking back for more exclusive coverage straight from the Spanish capital.