Madrid, Spain (Sports Network) - Second-seeded Maria Sharapova and last
year's runner-up Victoria Azarenka were a pair of first-round winners Monday
at the $4 million Madrid Open.
The former world No. 1 and reigning French Open champion Sharapova stayed hot
by handling Romanian Alexandra Dulgheru 7-5, 6-2, while the third-seeded
former top-ranked star Azarenka was tested in a 7-6 (10-8), 7-6 (7-3) victory
over last week's Portugal Open champion Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova on the clay
courts at The Magic Box.
Sharapova, who titled in Stuttgart two weeks ago, will meet American Christina
McHale in the round of 32 on Tuesday, while Azarenka will take on Russian
Ekaterina Makarova on Wednesday.
Azarenka lost to current world No. 1 Serena Williams in last year's finale in
Madrid and was the 2011 runner-up here to Czech slugger Petra Kvitova.
A big Day-3 second-round upset came when promising British left-hander Laura
Robson took out fourth-seeded Wimbledon runner-up Agnieszka Radwanska 6-3,
In some other second-round action at this French Open tune-up, sixth-
seeded German Angelique Kerber dropped France's Alize Cornet 6-4, 6-2 and
seventh-seeded 2012 French Open runner-up Sara Errani snuck past Romanian
Sorana Cirstea 7-5, 2-6, 6-4.
Some additional first-round play saw last week's Portugal Open runner-up Carla
Suarez Navarro upend ninth-seeded former Roland Garros finalist Samantha
Stosur of Australia 7-6 (9-7), 6-2, the aforementioned McHale outlast Chinese
Peng Shuai 7-5, 5-7, 6-1, and Frenchwoman Kristina Mladenovic roll past
Spaniard Silvia Soler-Espinosa 6-1, 6-1.
In some more second-round play on Tuesday, the top-seeded and defending
champion Williams will face Spanish wild card Lourdes Dominguez Lino.
The Sports Network