French Open champion Garbine Muguruza advanced to the second round of the Generali Ladies by beating Cagla Buyukakcay of Turkey 6-4, 6-4 on Wednesday.
The top-seeded Spaniard dropped serve twice and saved six more break points as she struggled for consistency against the 69th-ranked Buyukakcay.
“On this surface it was very difficult for me,” Muguruza said. “It’s my first indoor event so it’s hard to find your rhythm.”
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Muguruza, who was a late entry to the event after U.S. Open finalist Karolina Pliskova pulled out, will next play Monica Niculescu of Romania.
French qualifier Oceane Dodin became the first player to reach the quarterfinals by beating Sorana Cirstea of Romania 6-2, 6-4. The 89th-ranked Dodin, who won her maiden title in Quebec last month, had eight aces and avoided break points on her serve.
Earlier, second-seeded Dominika Cibulkova advanced to the second round by beating Belinda Bencic of Switzerland 6-1, 6-2. The 10th-ranked Slovak, who reached the final in 2011, converted all six break points while Bencic managed to hold her serve only once in the match.
Cibulkova will play Annika Beck of Germany for a place in the quarterfinals.
Also, third-seeded Madison Keys of the United States defeated Camila Giorgi of Italy 6-3, 6-4, and Kirsten Flipkens advanced after Mandy Minella of Luxembourg pulled out with a hip injury after the Belgian won the opening set 6-4.
Holder Jankovic advances in rain-hit Hong Open
Defending champion Jelena Jankovic ousted fellow Serb Aleksandra Krunic to reach the Hong Kong Open third round on a rain-hit Wednesday with the other singles matches suspended.
Jankovic, the seventh seed, took less than 90 minutes to seal a 6-4 6-3 win over Krunic, who made six double faults and was broken twice in the opening set.
“She (Krunic) is a player who is very talented and I’ve known her a long time,” Jankovic told reporters. “I used to be her mentor and now I play against her. It’s amazing to see her grow up and come to this stage.
“I don’t like to play against someone who is my friend. It’s never easy. I prefer to play someone else, but she played really well.”
Jankovic will take on either Venus Williams or Alize Cornet of France in the next round.
Angelique Kerber, the world number one who lost to Jankovic in last year’s final, won the first set against American Louisa Chirico but lost the second. The German was leading 2-1 in the third with play scheduled to resume on Thursday.
Australian Daria Gavrilova, the eighth seed, was leading 6-2 1-0 against unseeded Katerina Siniakova of the Czech Republic. (-Reuters)