Czech Barbora Strycova dispatched Madrid Masters title contender Angelique Kerber 6-4, 6-2 yesterday in a dramatic first-round collapse for Germany’s second-seeded winner of the Australian Open.
Kerber came to the capital with high hopes, and rival Serena Williams absent from the field of the pre-Roland Garros showpiece on clay. But Strycova, who had not won a set in five previous matches with Kerber, had other ideas and put them into practice in her 62-minute rout.
Kerber, who won her home Stuttgart title last weekend, lost serve four times as she began in Madrid, with her Czech challenger finishing the upset with 16 winners and 15 unforced errors compared to 22 miscues from Kerber.
Strycova will next face American Madison Keys, who recovered to stop fellow American and qualifier Alison Riske 1-6, 6-3, 6-4.
Spain’s eighth seed Carla Suarez Navarro scored a 3-6, 6-2, 6-3 comeback over Hungarian Timea Babos, a semi- finalist last week in Morocco.
US Open finalist Roberta Vinci of Italy, seeded seventh, was knocked out at the first hurdle 6-4, 6-2 by Istanbul runner-up Danka Kovinic.
Czech Karolina Pliskova, the 13th seed, advanced past Spanish wildcard Lourdes Domínguez Lino, 6-2, 6-1, while British lucky loser Heather Watson was put out 7-5, 6-4 by 2015 Rome semi-finalist Daria Gavrilova of Australia.

Kohlschreiber wins third ATP Munich title
Germany’s Philipp Kohlschreiber won Munich’s ATP tournament for the third time after downing rising Austrian star Dominic Thiem in yesterday’s final.
Having won the 2007 and 2012 titles, Kohlschreiber, who hails from the neighbouring Bavarian city of Augsburg, ran out the 7-6 (9/7), 4-6, 7-6 (7/4) winner after a huge tussle in the final which lasted just under two-and-a-half hours.
Having lost the first set on a tie-breaker, the 22-year-old Thiem rallied to take the second, breaking Kohlschreiber to go 4-3 up as the set then followed serve.
Kohlschreiber, 32, was not to be denied and squandered two match points at 5-4 up in the third before Thiem broke back to take the game to a second tie-breaker.
Having lost to Britain’s Andy Murray in last year’s Munich final, this is Kohlschreiber’s seventh career ATP title. Thiem, ranked 15th in the world, has a bright future and has already picked up 26 wins and two titles this season.
Kohlschreiber, ranked 27th in the world, steam-rolled his way to his fifth Munich final after seeing off compatriot Florian Mayer, Juan Martin del Potro and Fabio Fognini en route.