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Swiatek, Gauff through in Madrid Open as Osaka falls

tennis25 April 2024 19:20| Ā© AFP
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Coco Gauff @ Getty Images

World No 1 Iga Swiatek beat Wang Xiyu 6-1, 6-4 to reach the third round of the Madrid Open on Thursday as she bids to win the competition for the first time.

Earlier Coco Gauff sailed through to the third round with a 6-0, 6-0 thumping of Arantxa Rus, while Liudmila Samsonova ousted Naomi Osaka in three sets.

Runner-up last year, Swiatek bounced back from her semifinal defeat by Elena Rybakina in Stuttgart with a largely comfortable straight sets victory.

The Pole, a four-time Grand Slam winner and an expert on clay, wobbled in the second set as Wang won three games in a row but recovered to triumph in one hour 16 minutes.

"I love this place ā€“ I got to know the city a little better last year," Swiatek said. "So this time I feel more comfortable around."

Madrid is the only major European clay tournament that three-time French Open champion Swiatek has yet to win.

Swiatek coasted through the first set, breaking twice for a 4-0 lead. She wrapped up it up with another break, leaving Wang no chance of reaching her red-hot backhand return.

The Doha and Indian Wells winner took a 4-1 lead in the second set but Wang fought her way back in for 4-4, before the top seed steeled herself to hold.

Wang then handed the second set on a plate to Swiatek with two double faults, and the Pole will face 27th seed Sorana Cirstea in the third round.

'DOUBLE BAGEL' FOR GAUFF

Earlier Gauff, 20, earned the first 'double bagel' victory of her career in a WTA Tour main draw event in only 51 minutes against her 33-year-old Dutch opponent Rus.

The American saved four break points in the match to become the third player ever to win 6-0, 6-0 in the Madrid Open main draw.

World No 3 Gauff will face Ukraine's Dayana Yastremska next.

OSAKA DUMPED OUT

Samsonova brought former world No 1 Osaka's return to clay to a halt with a 6-2, 4-6, 7-5 victory.

Four-time Grand Slam champion Osaka twice battled back from a break down in the second set to force a decisive third but world number 17 Samsonova eventually ground out the win.

Japanese star Osaka returned to tennis in January after a long break and earned her first victory on clay for two years on Wednesday against Greet Minnen.

However Russian 15th seed Samsonova, whom Osaka beat at Indian Wells in March, was able to end a four-match losing streak with her victory in two hours 22 minutes in the Spanish capital.

Hard-court expert Osaka, 26, is not overly fond of the red dirt and has not won back-to-back matches on the surface since 2019.

She lost last week at the Rouen Open in France against Martina Trevisan in her first match back on clay but improved this week.

"I felt ā€“ I don't want to say happy ā€“ I felt good that I was able to fight back," said Osaka.

"I think it's a big difference from my match in France, so I was happy that I learned from that match, but obviously really sad that I lost."

Samsonova raced into a 4-0 first set lead, breaking in the first and third games as Osaka struggled.

"Honestly, it's not the sliding part for me, it's the touch," said Osaka.

"I feel like I'm getting the balls, I'm just not really placing them well."

Samsonova will face Madison Keys in the next round.

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