Maria books second round spot in Madrid

Maria is through to the second round of the Mutua Madrid Open after a 4-6 6-4 6-0 win over No.17 seed Mirjana Lucic-Baroni of Croatia. The match lasted two hours and 12 minutes.

After dropping the first set 6-4, the match turned around for Maria as she led 5-2 in the second set, Lucic-Baroni then won two games but Maria re-grouped and won the one game she needed to take the set 6-4. The momentum continued in the third set as she was won the set without dropping a game as she moved into the second round.

Throughout the match, Maria had a first serve percentage of 51%. Maria had 16 winners to Lucic-Baroni’s 41 winners but only had 10 unforced errors to her opponent’s 34.

After the match, Maria said:
I’m not quite sure how to describe the match because it feels like it happened so fast. I thought she played really well. I was playing against, like, a human slingshot for a while there. Balls were coming so fast and deep that, for a couple of sets, I don’t believe we had too many rallies over three balls. You know, she goes for it. You have to be patient. Sometimes there’s not much you can do. Those are great shots, on the line. I mean, the breakpoints, I missed a couple of second-serve returns. That was obviously an error from my side. But she came up with some great winners. Just got to hand it to her.

In the second round to be played on Monday evening, Maria will play world No.60 Eugenie Bouchard of Canada. They have played four times before and Maria leads the series 4-0. Here are the matches they have played against each other:
2013 Miami R2: Maria won 6-2 6-0
2013 French Open R2: Maria won 6-2 6-4
2014 French Open SF: Maria won 4-6 7-5 6-2
2015 Australian Open QF: Maria won 6-3 6-2

Maria’s thoughts on the second round match:
I think in terms of a game style, there’s a little bit of similarities to who I played today: very aggressive, inside the court, takes the ball on the rise, doesn’t give you much time. All the things that hopefully I can improve from today’s match and take it against her.