Naomi Osaka will begin her Madrid Open campaign with an opener against former Australian Open finalist Dominika Cibulkova but the big news from the draw is a potential second round meeting between Angelique Kerber and Garbin Muguruza.
Kerber, seeded fourth in the competition, will be up against Lesia Tsurenko in her opener but the sterner challenge for her would be the second round one against Spaniard Muguruza. That is if the former world number one can get past Croatia’s Petra Martic in her opening match.
Also in action in Madrid will be second seeded Petra Kvitova and she will do well to not take her opening round opponent, Sofia Kenin, for granted. The duo has played before this and while Kvitova won that encounter, it went to three sets. Also, Kenin made it to the final at Acapulco earlier this year, after having won the Hobart International to ensure this could be a match to watch out.
Third seeded Simona Halep should have it easy with a qualifier in her opener, but then she might take on Johanna Konta, a Morocco Open finalist from the previous week, in the second. On the other hand, the fifth seeded Karolina Pliskova, who had withdrawn from the Prague Open because of a viral illness, will hope to get going against youngster Dayan Yastremska in her opening match.
Elina Svitolina, the sixth seed, has a reasonably easier first couple of matches, as she takes on Pauline Parmentier in her opener but in the third round, could be up against the ninth seeded Ash Barty. Barty begins her campaign against fellow Aussie Daria Gavrilova.
Seventh seeded Kiki Bertens plays Katerina Siniakova while the eighth seeded Sloane Stephens will have a qualifier for company in her opener.
Potential path to the final for some of the top WTA Madrid Open players.
Naomi Osaka’s Proposed Path:
1st Round: Cibulkova
2nd Round: Sorribes Tormo
3rd Round: Kontaveit/Mertens
Petra Kvitova’s Proposed Path
1st Round: Kenin
2nd Round: Strycova
3rd Round: Garcia/Keys
Simona Halep’s Proposed Path
1st Round: Qualifier
2nd Round: Riske/Konta
3rd Round: Goerges
Angelique Kerber’s Proposed Path
1st Round: Tsurenko
2nd Round: Muguruza
3rd Round: Wang Qiang