Both Grand Slam champions were opening day winners in the women’s draw at the Rome Masters.
Petra Kvitova began slowly before cruising past Magda Linette 1-6, 6-0, 6-2. Kvitova donated 16 unforced errors in the first before righting things thereafter.
“The first set I started very badly,” Kvitova said. “I was missing almost everything. On the court, not really court, it was bouncing everywhere as well. A little bit windy.
“The beginning of the second set when finally I hold my serve and break her serve, I think since then it was much, much better.”
French Open champion Iga Swiatek had a short day getting a retirement from Alison Riske as she was about to serve for the first at 5-4. Riske had led 4-1 before a left foot injury got the better of the American.
American’s did have a good day on the whole. Jessica Pegula continued her strong 2021 beating Daria Kasatkina. Jen Brady rolled past Shuai Zhang, Amanda Anisimova beat Wang Qiang and Coco Gauff picked up a great win beating Yulia Putintseva 7-5, 4-6, 6-4 in nearly three hours.
Putintseva served for the first but Gauff battled back as she does so often. Gauff dominated the third, breaking Putintseva for an eighth time to close out the match. Maria Sakkari will be next for Gauff.
Petra Martic, Vera Zvonareva and Anastasija Sevastova also were winners.
On Tuesday, Garbine Muguruza, Angelique Kerber headline play along with former finalist Madison Keys who meets Sloane Stephens in a rematch of their US Open final.
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