Seeds were falling like rotten apples in the first round of qualifying at the Mutua Madrid Open, while high-ranked WTA players enjoyed a slow day getting accustomed to the environment in the Spanish capital.
Top qualifying seed Amanda Anisimova was bageled twice in her three-set loss to Marta Kostyuk and we have photos from that match. No.2 seed Ekaterina Alexandrova, No.3 Tatjana Maria, No.4 Monica Puig, and No.5 Aleksandra Krunic all fell in straight sets. The highest seed to make it through the first round of qualifying was No.6 Kristina Mladenovic, who beat Ivana Jorovic, one of three representatives of Serbia on the day, all of whom lost.
Meanwhile, top names were chilling, talking to the media and practicing. Our photographer Jimmie48 attended the joint practice session of Elina Svitolina and Caroline Garcia, as well as the All-Access Hour where he caught up with Simona Halep, defending champion Petra Kvitova, who is coming straight from her Stuttgart trophy run, newly-engaged Sloane Stephens, Kiki Bertens, and Karolina Pliskova, who has confirmed that Conchita Martinez is now her full-time coach, while she no longer works with Rennae Stubbs.
After skipping the Porsche Tennis Grand Prix because of a left hip injury, Halep is confident in her health again, although she does have mild cold symptoms: “I recharged my batteries and I feel ready to start the clay court season. I’m a little bit sick, a cold from the plane. But I think I will be OK in two days.”
By the way, Petkovic and Mladenovic are looking fabulous in new Adidas’ Escouade collection, which made my April’s fashion favorites. To vote for your last month’s favorite styles, visit my latest article at the WTA website.