Tennis

Danielle Collins beats Monica Puig to reach 2nd round at Madrid Open

Danielle Collins beats Monica Puig to reach 2nd round at Madrid Open
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MADRID — Australian Open finalist Danielle Collins won the last eight games to advance to the second round of the Madrid Open with a 7-5, 6-0 victory over Monica Puig on Friday.

Puig, the Olympic gold medalist in Rio de Janeiro in 2016, is returning to action following shoulder and biceps surgeries. The 28-year-old Puerto Rican competitor appeared in only four matches since her first major surgery in 2019.

« You never know what to expect when someone’s been out for a while, and they’ve been working on some things, » the sixth-seeded Collins said. « You don’t know what type of game style that they’re going to play, so it was a little bit tricky trying to anticipate what she was going to do. I think she played at a super-high level, especially in the first set, and gave me a lot of challenges, so I really needed to just find my rhythm on the court. »

Collins also missed matches this season because of injury, including a neck ailment that she picked up during her quarterfinal run in Miami.

« When you go a little period where you aren’t playing some matches, you almost feel a little bit rusty, » the 28-year-old American said. « I just needed to be patient and try to get myself back into it. »

Another American player to advance was 12th-seeded Jessica Pegula, who beat Camila Giorgi 7-5, 2-6, 7-5. Madison Keys was eliminated 7-6 (8), 3-6, 4-6 against fourth-seeded Maria Sakkari.

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Seventh-seeded Garbine Muguruza, one of the home-crowd favorites in the Spanish capital, defeated Ajla Tomljanovic 7-5, 6-2, while Leylah Fernandez, the US Open runner-up last year, beat Andrea Petkovic 6-1, 1 -6, 6-4.

Jil Teichmann handed three-time Madrid champion Petra Kvitova her first loss in the first round at the tournament since 2010.

In a match between promising 19-year-olds, wild-card entry Marta Kostyuk beat Clara Tauson 6-3, 6-2.

Top-ranked Iga Swiatek withdrew from the clay-court tournament on Wednesday because of a sore arm.

The men’s first round begins next week, with both Rafael Nadal and top-ranked Novak Djokovic participating.

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