Madrid: Defending champion Petra Kvitova defeated Kristina Mladenovic 6-3, 7-6 (5) to reach the third round of the Madrid Open on Monday.
The second-seeded Czech outlasted Mladenovic by winning the last three points in the tiebreaker to close out the match in nearly two hours.
Kvitova, seeking her fourth Madrid Open title, was in control until losing her serve midway through the second set, letting the French qualifier back into the match.
Kvitova had seven aces at the "Magic Box" center court en route to her eighth straight win in Madrid. She is the most successful women's player in the tournament with 28 wins and six losses. Her other titles in the Spanish capital came in 2011 and 2015.
Mladenovic was the runner-up in Madrid in 2017. Kvitova will next face wild card Sorana Cirstea or former No. 4 Caroline Garcia.
Belarusian Azarenka committed nine double-faults in going down to the American eighth seed.
"I was taking control from the baseline points, I was doing the right things. I was playing smart tennis. But I didn't create anything with my serve today and it was really frustrating. I didn't really have a game plan, that's something I need to take a look at and fix. I need to make it more simple and just do the right things," Azarenka said.
Former US Open winner Stephens also reached the third round here in 2014 and 2018.
Dutch seventh seed Kiki Bertens advanced past 2017 Roland Garros champion Jelena Ostapenko 6-4, 6-3.
She takes out Mladenovic, 6-3, 7-6(5)! pic.twitter.com/X79wCCEbjO
— WTA (@WTA) May 6, 2019
Last year's losing Madrid finalist Bertens hammered 11 aces as she went through in 80 minutes, breaking Ostapenko four times.
In the men's first round at the ATP-WTA pre-Roland Garros tune-up, Russian 11th seed Karen Khachanov ended a five-match losing streak as he put out Spain's Jaume Munar 6-4, 6-7 (5/7), 6-3.
Khachanov earned his last win in mid-March at Indian Wells.
Germany's Philipp Kohlschreiber defeated Mikhail Kukushkin 6-2, 7-6 (7/5), while Frances Tiafoe beat Georgia's Nikolaz Basilashvili 6-7 (8/10), 6-3, 6-4.
With inputs from Agencies.
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Updated Date: May 06, 2019 23:30:52 IST