Petra Kvitová made a strong start to the defence of her Madrid Open title today with a first-round win over Sofia Kenin of the United States.
The 29-year-old Czech, twice Wimbledon champion, maintained her momentum after winning the previous Women’s Tennis Association event in Stuttgart with a 6-1, 6-4 victory at La Caja Magica to continue her pursuit of a fourth Madrid title.
Meanwhile, another double Wimbledon winner, Spain’s Rafael Nadal, is preparing to launch his bid for a sixth Madrid Open.
Spain’s 32-year-old former world number one, who has been increasingly hampered by injury in recent years, is seeded second for an Association of Tennis Professionals Tour Masters 1000 event that will see qualifying matches played today.
As one of the top eight seeds, Nadal has a bye to the second round, as has top seed and world number one Novak Djokovic.
Others waiting to take the court at that point are Alexander Zverev of Germany, Switzerland’s Roger Federer, Juan Martin del Potro of Argentina, Austria’s Dominic Thiem, Stefanos Tsitsipas of Greece and Japan’s Kei Nishikori.
The Madrid Open, established in 2002, changed status from hard court to clay in 2009.