Taiwan’s Hsieh Su-wei on Thursday crashed out of the first round of the women’s singles at the Madrid Open, while Ashleigh Barty eased past Shelby Rogers as the world No. 1 prepares to try to reclaim her French Open title in Paris later this month.
Veteran world No. 65 Hsieh fell to a 6-2, 6-4 defeat to Tamara Zidansek of Slovenia in 1 hour, 33 minutes in the Spanish capital.
The Taiwanese can now concentrate on the doubles, in which she has teamed up with Elise Mertens of Belgium and been handed the No. 1 seeding and a bye into the second round.
On the other side of the draw, Taiwan’s Chan Hao-ching and Latisha Chan have been seeded sixth and drawn against Petra Martic of Croatia and Rogers of the US in the first round.
In the singles, Barty enjoyed a comfortable 6-2, 6-1 victory over Rogers to book her place in the second round, where she faces Zidansek.
The Australian will be one of the favorites at Roland Garros after her victory in 2019 and because of her excellent form. Barty arrived in Madrid on the back of winning her third WTA Tour title of the year in Stuttgart, Germany, which took her winning streak to 11 matches on European clay.
Barty said that she would to have adjust to the outdoor conditions in Madrid, but there was little sign of awkwardness against Rogers, whom she has now beaten five times out of five, including four times this year.
“The rate that we’re going, we’ll play every month this year, just make it a tradition,” Barty said at a news conference. “Every time you step out on the court against Shelby, you really need to be switched on, play your very best, because she has the ability to take the match away from you very quickly.”
Rogers, ranked 43rd, lost to Barty in the Australian Open round-of-16 in February, before pushing her to three sets on clay in Charleston, South Carolina, last month, but the American was no match for the counterattacking punch of her opponent this time, with Barty able to absorb Rogers’ aggression and coax her into too many mistakes.
Two breaks of serve in each set were enough for the top seed to seal a straight-forward victory.
Earlier, fourth seed Elina Svitolina suffered a shock defeat to world No. 40 Jil Teichmann, who saved six match points.
Teichmann came from a set and a break down, and then 5-1 down in the decider to pull off a remarkable victory.
Three-time Madrid Open champion Petra Kvitova, Angelique Kerber, Kiki Bertens and Johanna Konta all made it safely through to the second round.
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