Li Na is out of Madrid. Just like that. Li was defeated--and defeated soundly--today in the first round by lucky loser Madison Keys. Keys had lost in qualifying to Bethanie Mattek-Sands. Also going out in the first round today was Caroline Wozniacki, who lost to Yaroslava Shvedova.
But that wasn't the end of it. Jelena Jankovic was defeated by qualifier Chanelle Scheepers, and Roberta Vinci lost to Varvara Lepchenko. Yesterday, it was Mona Barthel who went out, beaten by Kirsten Flipkens.
On paper, these first round losses are very surprising, but we shouldn't be that surprised by Wozniacki and Barthel; neither of them is having a very good time of it. The other losses did surprise me. I consider Li a contender to win the French Open, Jankovic had actually started looking like herself again, and Vinci--well, I expected her to win on clay.
Two players who have yet to compete in the first round are Victoria Azarenka and Sam Stosur. Azarenka will play Portugal Open champion Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova, and Stosur will play Portugal Open runner-up Carla Suarez Navarro. If Stosur wins, she gets Kaia Kanepi in the second round.
And, speaking of the second round, should we brace ourselves for more upsets?