MADRID – Petra Martic of Croatia on Sunday stunned Spaniard Garbiñe Muguruza 7-5, 7-6 (2) in the first round of the 2019 Madrid Open tennis tournament.
It took the Croatian player, WTA ranking No. 36, one hour and 55 minutes to edge her first career win over Muguruza, ranked 20, who has been experiencing an unstable playing streak.
“I think it was a good match, we were both playing well and I had many opportunities in both sets. I have to be smarter while playing. I had a little error and she took advantage of it,” Muguruza said after the match.
Muguruza, the winner of 2019 Monterrey Open in Mexico, was hoping to put up a good performance in Madrid, the most important Spain-based tournament of the season, but she saw her hopes vanish against Martic.
Martic, the 2019 Istanbul Cup winner, managed to extend her successive Madrid-open triumphs to six matches.
In their only previous head-to-head match, Muguruza claimed a 6-2, 7-5 win over the Croatian player in the first round of the 2015 French Open (Rolan Garros) tournament.
Muguruza said she felt broken after her loss to Martic, however the Spanish pro stressed that she would take the defeat as if it were her first match on clay, focusing on the upcoming clay tourneys of Rome and Roland Garros.
“I think I have been improving since last year, my level is good, I have come with confidence. In precise moments I have not played smart, and that has been the reason (for losing). Everything was working, it was going well, I have to see what I did wrong,” Muguruza concluded.
Muguruza, former world number one, has never been lucky at the Madrid Open. She also fell in the 2012 first round to China’s Li Na, then was knocked out of the 2014 second round by Samantha Stosur of Australia.
In the subsequent two editions of the Madrid Open (2015 and 2016), Muguruza was eliminated in the second round matches at the hands of Russia’s Svetlana Kuznetsova and Irina Camelia Begu of Romania, respectively.
The Spaniard was then knocked out of the first round in 2017 by Timea Bacsinszky of Switzerland.
Muguruza’s best record in Madrid was last year when she reached the round of 16, but where she fell to Russia’s Daria Kasatkina.
The Spaniard’s participation in this year’s edition of the Madrid Open was surrounded by doubts following her results in the Fed Cup playoffs against Belgium, where she did not win any of her single matches, claiming only the double game win along with her compatriot Carla Suarez.
After her poor showing in the Fed Cup playoffs, Muguruza had to withdraw from the 2019 Porsche Tennis Grand Prix tournament held in the German city of Stuttgart due to a gastrointestinal virus.