Alisa Kleybanova is a bit like Tsvetana Pironkova, in that she tends to occasionally take down the mighty. Today, in Madrid, marked one of those occasions, when the Russian player--hitting hard groundstrokes, getting back a lot of balls, and waiting for her opponent to make errors--prevailed over a top player. Kleybanova defeated 5th seed Venus Williams 6-3, 3-6, 7-5. Williams was down 3-5 in the third set, but fought her way back to 5-all, only to be broken.
In one way, it was a typical clay court match--there were thirteen breaks of serve. But there wasn't much clay court razzle-dazzle from either player; it was more of a test of who could remain steadier just a bit longer.
Also upset today was 15th seed Zheng Jie, who was defeated in straight sets by Amelie Mauresmo. Despite Mauresmo's history of discomfort at the French Open, she is one of the few players who is a specialist on both clay and grass courts.
Also leaving the tournament today was Daniela Hantuchova, who was defeated by 4th seed Jelena Jankovic.