Madrid, Spain – Victoria Azarenka will not reach a third straight Madrid Open final after suffering a second-round upset Wednesday at the $4 million French Open tune-up.
Russian left-hander Ekaterina Makarova stunned onlookers by taking out the third-seeded reigning Australian Open champion and former world No. 1 in three sets, this after losing the opening set in a mere seven games. Makarova prevailed 1-6, 6-2, 6-3 on Day 5.
The flustered Belarusian star double-faulted five times and safely landed just over half of her first serves.
Azarenka lost her temper during the setback, breaking her racquet and arguing with chair umpire Mariana Alves.
After sending a slice forehand long, Azarenka smashed her racquet in disgust. Alves promptly gave her a code violation for racquet abuse. It turned out to be Azarenka's second code violation of the match, as she received a code violation for an audible obscenity earlier, which led to an automatic point penalty.
Azarenka lashed out at Alves.
"Are you kidding me? I didn't say anything," Azarenka argued. "What are you talking about?"
Makarova is now 2-3 lifetime against Azarenka, who suffered her first actual match loss of 2013 (18-1). The Belarusian star exited two other tournaments this year via walkover and has appeared in only five events thus far this season.
Azarenka lost to Serena Williams in last year's finale and was also the Madrid runner-up in 2011.
Another second-round upset came when Slovakian wild card Daniela Hantuchova tackled eighth-seeded former Wimbledon champion and 2011 Madrid Open titlist Petra Kvitova, 2-6, 6-2, 6-3.
In third-round play, sixth-seeded German left-hander Angelique Kerber reached the quarterfinals by overcoming former French Open champ Svetlana Kuznetsova, of Russia, 3-6, 6-4, 7-5. No. 16 seed Ana Ivanovic also advanced to the quarters via a hard-fought three-set win, with the Serb rallying to edge Brit Laura Robson by a 5-7, 6-2, 7-6 (7-5) count.
In other second-round action, 14th-seeded Russian Maria Kirilenko came back to beat France's Kristina Mladenovic 6-7 (5-7), 6-1, 6-4, Estonian Kaia Kanepi whipped Spaniard Carla Suarez Navarro 6-3, 6-1, and American Varvara Lepchenko got past German Julia Goerges via walkover on the clay courts at The Magic Box. Goerges cited a stomach ailment for her pull-out on Wednesday. Suarez Navarro was a finalist at the Portugal Open last week.
Kirilenko is rewarded with a third-round match against the reigning Madrid titlist Williams on Thursday.
Also on Thursday, second-seeded former No. 1 Maria Sharapova will battle German slugger Sabine Lisicki. The French Open champion Sharapova was a recent clay-court titlist in Stuttgart.