Madrid, Spain – Reigning champion Petra Kvitova and former world No. 1 star Serena Williams were a pair of first-round winners Monday at the $5.189 million Madrid Open.
The third-seeded Czech lefthander Kvitova drilled New Zealand's Marina Erakovic 6-2, 6-3, while a ninth-seeded Williams drubbed Russian Elena Vesnina 6-3, 6-1 on the all-new blue clay surface at The Magic Box.
Williams swatted 14 aces and did not allow even one break point chance for Vesnina, who was a runner-up in Budapest last week.
Kvitova, who also was last year's Wimbledon titlist, defeated this week's top seed, Victoria Azarenka, in last year's marquee Madrid finale.
Up next for the formidable Kvitova will be fellow Czech Lucie Hradecka, while Williams will encounter another Russian opponent, Russian Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova.
Another former No. 1 came up a loser on Day 3, as surging Spanish wild card Carla Suarez Navarro knocked out 15th-seeded Serbian star Jelena Jankovic 4-6, 7-6 (7-5), 6-4. Suarez is fresh off her clay-court runner-up finish in Estoril last week.
Last week's Budapest titlist Sara Errani of Italy stayed hot with a 4-6, 6-2, 6-3 victory over South African Chanelle Scheepers, while last week's Estoril champ Kaia Kanepi exited Madrid Monday with a 6-4, 6-4 setback at the hands of Czech Lucie Safarova.
Other opening-round winners were Czech qualifiers Hradecka and Andrea Hlavackova and Russian Ekaterina Makarova. Hlavackova is rewarded with a second-round bout against the current world No. 1 Azarenka.
This year's Madrid Open winner will earn $830,500.