Saturday's action in WTA 1000 Mutua Madrid Open delivered mostly the straightforward conclusions, as 7 out of 8 matches ended up in two sets. That has not denied great emotions and surprising results in some cases. Paula Badosa delighted the home fans with a crushing win in a hit clash of the day against Cori Gauff. The Spaniard who is on an ascending wave of form in recent weeks, was a slight favorite against the world number 6 in relation to pre-match odds. The top Spanish racquet proved her great disposition by beating the 19 years-old American with a score 6-3 6-0. The match was in contention till the first half of opening set, as both players shared breaks between them in first two games and were leveled until 5th game, when Badosa gained the break advantage and run away with a score. The Spaniard was playing better and better with every single game and sealed the victory with a bagel in second set. It's a statement win from Badosa, who proves to be one of the main contenders for the biggest achievements on clay this year. On the other side, the start of clay season is quite miserable for Gauff. The American managed to win one match Stuttgart and Madrid tournaments, but got eliminated from both after really lacklustre performances. The pressure will be there in the following weeks, as Gauff defends 1300 points in Roland Garros after being a runner-up in last year's edition of the clay Grand Slam.
Another world's top 10 player waits for Badosa in the round of 16, as the Spaniard will meet Maria Sakkari in the battle for the place in quarterfinals. The Greek played an interesting late night match against Rebecca Masarova and prevailed to deny the upset, as she fought back from being a set down. The Spaniard played really well in the opening set and won it 6-4, but Sakkari raised up her level and dominated two following sets, winning it 3-6 6-3 6-3 eventually.
Mirra Andreeva continues to be the biggest sensation of the tournament in Caja Magica, as the 16 years-old Russian eliminated Magda Linette with a confident 6-3 6-3 win over the world's number 19. Linette approached to the clash with a teenager after making an upset on Marketa Vondrousova, which was some kind of a breakthrough for her after miserable results in recent weeks. Andreeva is on fire with a streak of 14 wins (including today's one) in a row right now. The Russian came to Madrid after winning two back to back ITF tournaments and continues her great run after defeating Leylah Fernandez and Beatriz Haddad Maia in previous rounds. That was an amazing birthday for Andreeva, as she turned 16 exactly today, having no better way to celebrate it than defeating the world's top 20 player for a second day in a row.
After defeating three top notch players this week, Andreeva faces even more challenging task right now, as she plays against Aryna Sabalenka in the round of 16. The Belarusian defeated Camila Osorio in two sets, but it was going quite hard for the world's number 2. Sabalenka was on the front foot in both sets, but losing the advantage in the middle of first set and especially in second set, when she was 4-1 up with a double break, but slipped it away, needing to retook the lead in the decisive games of the set. Great fighting spirit from the Colombian, but undisputed win of Sabalenka at the end, who needed 1:55 hours to win it 6-4 7-5 eventually.
Caroline Garcia became the highest seed who got eliminated on court in this year's Madrid Open so far. The 5th seed suffered an upset from Mayar Sherif, who won the match with a score 7-6(2) 6-3. Garcia was a pre-match favorite with an odd 1.30 and started it well, leading 2-0 after gaining early break. The Egyptian regrouped well after slow start though, forcing a tiebreak in first set where she dominated winning it 7-2. Second set was a good display of serving performance from both without any breakpoints till 8th game when Sherif produced first chances of this set and converted it, which occured to be crucial for the final score. Elise Mertens will be the opponent of Sherif in round of 16. The Belgian plays really well in Madrid this year, as she defeated Rebecca Marino and Jule Niemeier without losing a single set on the road to round of 16.
Liudmila Samsonova breezed past Jelena Ostapenko in the most one-sided match of the day. It was the match-up, which was looking very promising on paper, between the world's number 18 and 22, who both scored convincing straight set wins in previous round. Ostapenko was rated quite higher with the pre-match chances, being a favorite with an odd 1.74. It had absolutely no bearing on reality though. The match started with condifent holds from both till the score 2-2, since when Samsonova won all the games till the end. Second set was an abysmal performance from Ostapenko, who managed to score just 6 single points in whole the set, including just 2 in all the 3 easily lost service games. Samsonova will play against Irina Camelia Begu next. The Romanian defeated Karolina Muchova and Shelby Rogers in straight sets on the road to round of 16.