On Saturday, it was 5th seed and French Open defending champion Svetlana Kuznetsova. On Sunday it was French Open favorite Justine Henin. And today it was defending champion Dinara Safina who went out in the first round of the Mutua Madrilena Madrid Open. Klara Zakopalova, when she's focused, is a fine hitter. She was very focused today, and Safina couldn't handle her. Zakopalova's deep ball-striking did in Safina's forehand, and the world number held on to take the match 7-6, 7-6. Safina was up 4-1 in the first set, and served twice for the second set, but simply could not make her game work today.
Meanwhile, the top seed, Serena Williams, played the longest match of her career today, spending 3 hours and 26 minutes on the court with Vera Dushevina, who just wouldn't go away. Dushevina went up 4-0 in the third set tiebreak, but anyone who has ever watched Dushevina knew what was about to happen; closing matches is simply not her strong suit. Williams won, 6-7, 7-6, 7-6, and advances to the third round.
8th seed Sam Stosur barely made it out of the first round. She survived a predictably tough contest against Gisela Dulko. There was only one break in the match, which Stosur took 7-6, 7-5.
Agnes Szavay and 10th seed Victoria Azarenka both retired, both with right thigh problems. The beneficiaries of these retirements were Patty Schnyder and wild card Peng Shuai, respectively.
Petra Kvitova and Caroline Wozniacki played a first round match that pretty well summed up their playing styles: Kvitova hit exactly four times the winners Wozniacki hit--and lost in straight sets.