Sharapova, Li Na reach third round
World No.3 Stanislas Wawrinka was stunned 1-6, 6-2, 6-4 in an opening upset on Tuesday at the Madrid Masters by Dominic Thiem, as the 2013 finalist was knocked out by the youngest member of the top 100.
Austrian Thiem refused to get discouraged after losing the opening set in 31 minutes, managing to turn the tables as Wawrinka’s big game suddenly went from hot to cold.
Wawrinka lost the final a year ago to Rafael Nadal.
With Novak Djokovic out injured and Roger Federer missing due to the birth of his second set of twins, Nadal’s chances at home were looking up. “I can’t believe this, I was in the zone during the match and unbelievably concentrated,” said Thiem. “I haven’t had many matches against top guys. In the first set I was not used to his pace and I was a bit nervous. His level was just too high for me. But I played well to break him at the start of the second set and got used to his game.”
Wawrinka started out on a roll, grabbing a 4-0 lead, but was made to work to break Thiem after the youngster saved five break points in the sixth game before going down 1-5 on a Wawrinka drop shot winner.
After winning the opening set in 31 minutes, Wawrinka lost momentum, with Thiem dominating to take the second set 6-2, and kept up the pressure in the third.
Ferrer, Nishikori advance
Fifth seed David Ferrer took almost three hours to beat Albert Ramos 7-6 (8-6), 5-7, 6-3. Milos Raonic, seeded eighth, started with a victory over Jeremy Chardy 6-3, 6-3.
Barcelona winner Kei Nishikori, the number 10, started with a win over Guillermo Garcia-Lopez, 6-3, 6-1.
In the first round, Dutchman Igor Sijsling beat 14th seed Tommy Haas 3-6, 6-1, 6-4.
South African Kevin Anderson defeated Czech veteran Radek Stepanek 3-6, 6-3, 6-4, while Ernests Gulbis advanced 7-6 (7-5), 3-6, 6-2 over Jerzy Janowicz, who lost his eight straight match.
Nicolas Almagro, needed 11 match points to get past Kazakh Andrey Golubev 6-3, 6-7 (9-11), 7-6 (7-4).
Sharapova survives ‘Hale’ storm
In the women’s draw, Maria Sharapova needed a final-set fightback to survive Christina McHale, as the 2013 finalist struggled but prevailed 6-1, 4-6, 6-4 to reach the third round.
Second seed Li Na won a Chinese clash as she put out countrywoman Zheng Jie 6-2, 6-3 to next face 16th seed Sloane Stephens, a winner over Czech Petra Cetkovska 6-4, 2-6, 6-3.
Number five Petra Kvitova got past Varvara Lepchenko 2-6, 6-2, 6-1 and 10th seed Sara Errani beat fellow Italian Francesca Schiavone 6-3, 6-1.
Australian Samantha Stosur beat Spain’s Garbine Muguruza 7-5, 3-6, 6-1.