Friday's action in Caja Magica complemented the second round of WTA competition in Mutua Madrid Open 2023. The biggest headline of the day was Anna Kalinskaya eliminating Elena Rybakina. The unseeded Russian defeated the second best player of the season so far according to the WTA Race list in three sets, 7-5 4-6 6-2. Rybakina approached the tournament in Madrid one week after pulling out from the match against Beatriz Haddad Maia in Stuttgart due to health issues. There were some concerns if the Kazakh will be fit to compete in Spain, but she took up the challenge and was a confident pre-match favorite against Kalinskaya, being rated with an odd 1.23. The opening set was a good display of serving performance from both, but it was just Kalinskaya who produced breakpoint in this set. She had one chance in 5th game, but did not waste three of them while being *0-40 up in 11th game, which gave her a set lead in the result. Rybakina needed to fight back and was pushing her opponent since the start of second set, producing 6 breakpoints in first two service games of Kalinskaya. The Russian made two big holds and regained the momentum back, moving into a break lead after 5th game. She did not convert a set and break lead though, as Rybakina continued to play aggressively and turned the set over, moving into decider. Once everyone could expect that Rybakina will follow the blow, Kalinskaya regrouped herself really well and started third set flawlessly, breaking her favorized opponent twice and did not slip the advantage away. It is one of the biggest career's win for the Russian who will play against Petra Martic in third round. The Slovenian, seeded with #27, defeated Laura Siegemund 7-6(6) 6-3.
Alycia Parks is another player who managed to get through the third round despite playing against much higher rated opponent. The American prevailed against Victoria Azarenka, earning the valuable straight sets win with a score 6-2 7-6(5). Azarenka was rated as a confident pre-match favorite with an odd 1.20. Parks played really well since the middle of first set, breaking Azarenka 4 times in a row. The Belarusian fought back with forcing the tiebreak in second set, but Parks converted a chance to close the match in two sets. The unseeded American will play against Martina Trevisan next. Trevisan defeated Eugenie Bouchard 6-2 7-5.
Wang Xiyu made another upset of the day, winning against Bianca Andreescu. The Canadian made a quick come back after badly looking injury, which she caught up during the Miami Open, while rolling the ankle on the court. As it occured, Andreescu needed just one month to come back into play, but she came up short today despite being a pre-match favorite with an odd 1.47. The Chinese made a great comeback, despite losing the first set relatively easily 3-6 and being 0-3 down with a single break gap in second one. Xiyu broke Andreescu in 5th game for the first time in the match to level the second's set score and forced the tiebreak, where she won 7-5. Deciding set was a close battle with long games and breakpoints on both sides till the 6th game, when Xiyu earned the first break of this set and did not lose any single game till the end. 3-6 7-6(5) 6-2 is the score.
Barbora Krejcikova will be Xiyu's opponent in third round. The Czech was a clear favorite ahead of the match against Danka Kovinic, but needed to put some more effort for winning today. Kovinic started really well with an early break and 2-0 lead in the first set. The Montenegrin did not capitalize on the good start though, as she lost 4 service games in a row, allowing the pre-match favorite to grab the set with a score 6-3. The second set was much more stable in terms of serving performance from both, but it was Kovinic who broke first in 5th game. The world's number 57 was holding her games with confidence till the decisive one, when she could serve for the set. Krejcikova produced 4 breakpoints, but Kovinic came back from being *15-40 down and forced a decider. The third set was not a story though, as Krejcikova raised up her level and did not allow her opponent to win any single game, ending up the match with a bagel.
Iga Swiatek has opened her Madrid campaign succesfully, earning a routine win over Julia Grabher. The world's ranking leader needed just 79 minutes to secure a comfortable 6-3 6-2 win, being on a front foot from the start till the end. The Austrian managed to produce and convert one single breakpoint in the middle of second set, but it did not changed anything in terms of final outcome. Bernarda Pera, seeded with #28 will be the Swiatek's opponent in third round.