Czech seventh seed Petra Kvitova put in a power-packed show to beat Oceane Dodin 6-3, 7-5 on Monday and breeze into the second round of the French Open.
The 30-year-old two-time Wimbledon champion lost only two points on serve in the opening set in her first clash with the French player, who has not got past the first round of a Grand Slam event since 2017.
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Donin found her feet under the closed roof of Court Philippe Chatrier in the second set, which saw an early trade of service breaks, but Kvitova raised her game to get the break in the 11th game and close in on victory.
The Czech, who missed last year's tournament at Roland Garros due to an arm injury, sealed victory with a forehand volley for her 30th winner and will next play either Italian Jasmine Paolini or Aliona Bolsova of Spain.
“We never played each other before, not even in practice,” Kvitova said in her on-court interview.
“So it was really tough from the beginning, but I found actually she plays very aggressive, her shots are similar as mine, so I was just trying to wait for the chance to break her serve.”
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Kvitova, who reached the semi-finals at Roland Garros in 2012, lost only two points in her service games in the opening set and broke Dodin in the eighth game to take the lead.
The 23-year-old Dodin, ranked 118th in the world, had not got past the first round of a Grand Slam event since 2017 and it looked like being a quick defeat at her home Grand Slam.
She found her feet, however, in the second set, which saw an early trade of service breaks before Kvitova raised her game to get the break in the 11th game and close in on victory.
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The Czech, who missed last year's tournament at Roland Garros due to an arm injury, sealed victory with a forehand volley for her 30th winner. “In the second she came back and really played much stronger and it was really tough in the end,” Kvitova said.
- Bertens sets up second-round clash with Errani -
Fifth seed Kiki Bertens recovered from a poor start against French Open debutant Katarina Zavatska to reach the second round with a 2-6, 6-2, 6-0 victory.
Dutchwoman Bertens was all at sea in the first set as the 20-year-old Zavatska took advantage of her errors.
Ukraine's Zavatska needed eight set points to seal the opener but claycourt specialist Bertens, a semifinalist here in 2016, began to shake off the rust to take the second set.
Zavatska faded in the third set and was unfortunate as she broke racket strings three times in the space of two games midway through the second set. Bertens, who sat out the US Open and retired with an Achilles injury on her return in Strasbourg last week, took full advantage and raced through the deciding set in 31 minutes.
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She will play former runner-up Sara Errani in the next round. Commenting on that fixture, Bertens said, “It's going to be a really tough match. I think I have to be ready to play a really long match, long rallies. I have to be patient.”
Meanwhile, Bulgarian wildcard Tsvetana Pironkova, who recently reached the US Open quarterfinal in her first tour-level appearance since 2017, breezed into the second round with a 6-3, 6-3 victory over Germany's Andrea Petkovic.