Stephens through in Madrid, early exit for Errani


Seeded players Sloane Stephens and Elina Svitolina had to fight back from a set down to progress to the second round of the WTA Madrid Open on Saturday.

As the main draw of the Premier clay-court event got under way in the Spanish capital, 16th seed Stephens recovered against Teliana Pereira to prevail 3-6 6-3 6-2.

Svitolina, seeded 12th, also showed her battling qualities by prevailing 4-6 6-3 6-4 over Yanina Wickmayer.

World number 49 Alize Cornet was given a scare by wildcard entry Paula Badosa Gibert, ranked 191 places lower.

Badosa took the first set 6-2 but after Cornet levelled, her 18-year-old opponent retired with cramp at 2-2 in the decider.

Christina McHale was also among the winners on Saturday, 6-0 6-4 over Anna-Lena Friedsam.


There was disappointment for 15th seed Sara Errani, who went down 7-5 7-5 to fellow Italian Camila Giorgi.

Giorgi found herself 5-3 down in each set, but showed remarkable powers of recovery to reel off four successive games on each occasion and book her place in the second round.


Heather Watson was defeated in the final qualifying round by Mirjana Lucic-Baroni, but she took her place in the main draw as a lucky loser following Yulia Putintseva's withdrawal due to a respiratory illness.


Ekaterina Makarova eased past Annika Beck 6-3 6-4, sealing a second-round tie against either Timea Bacsinszky or Andrea Petkovic.

Bacsinszky will come into her clash with Petkovic full of confidence, following her dominant display to defeat Marina Erakovic in the final of the Grand Prix de SAR La Princesse Lalla Meryem in Morocco on Saturday.