Ashleigh Barty eased past Shelby Rogers on Thursday in the first round of the Madrid Open as the world No 1 prepares to try to reclaim her French Open title in Paris next month.
Barty enjoyed a comfortable 6-2, 6-1 victory over Rogers to book her place in round two, where she will face Tamara Zidansek.
The Australian will be one of the favourites at Roland Garros after her victory there in 2019 and because of her excellent recent form. Barty arrived in Madrid on the back of winning her third WTA title this year in Stuttgart, which took her winning streak to 11 matches on European red clay.
She said on Thursday she would to have adjust to the outdoor conditions in Madrid but there was little sign of awkwardness against Rogers, whom she has now beaten five times out of five, including four times this year.
“The rate that we’re going, we’ll play every month this year, just make it a tradition,” said Barty in a press conference.
“Every time you step out on the court against Shelby, you really need to be switched on, play your very best because she has the ability to take the match away from you very quickly.”
Rogers, ranked 43rd, lost to Barty in the Australian Open round of 16 in February before pushing her to three sets on clay in Charleston earlier this month.
But the American was no match for the counter-attacking punch of her opponent this time, with Barty able to absorb Rogers’ aggression and coax her into too many mistakes.
Two breaks of serve in each set were enough for the top seed to seal a straight-forward victory in exactly an hour.
Earlier, fourth seed Elina Svitolina suffered a shock defeat to Switzerland’s world number 40 Jil Teichmann, who saved six match points.
Teichmann came from a set and a break down, and then 5-1 down in the decider to pull off a remarkable victory.
Three-time Madrid champion Petra Kvitova, Angelique Kerber, Kiki Bertens and Johanna Konta all made it safely through.
Ashleigh Barty (AUS x1) bt Shelby Rogers (USA) 6-2, 6-1
Tamara Zidansek (SLO) bt Su-Wei Hsieh (TPE) 6-2, 6-4
Laura Siegemund (GER) bt Kateryna Kozlova (UKR) 6-4, 6-2
Iga Swiatek (POL x14) bt Alison Riske (USA) 6-1, 6-1
Petra Kvitova (CZE x9) bt Marie Bouzkova (CZE) 6-2, 2-3 - retired
Angelique Kerber (GER) bt Marketa Vondrousova (CZE) 7-6 (7/5), 6-1
Veronika Kudermetova (RUS) bt Elena Vesnina (RUS) 6-1, 6-4
Kiki Bertens (NED x7) bt Victoria Jimenez Kasintseva (AND) 6-4, 6-0
Jil Teichmann (SUI) bt Elina Svitolina (UKR x4) 2-6, 6-4, 7-6 (7/5)
Paula Badosa (ESP) bt Barbora Krejcikova (CZE) 6-1, 7-5
Anastasija Sevastova (LAT) bt Ana Bogdan (ROM) 6-0, 6-3
Johanna Konta (GBR x15) bt Yulia Putintseva (KAZ) 6-4, 6-2
Sloane Stephens (USA) bt Danka Kovinic (MNE) 6-4, 6-1
Ons Jabeur (TUN) bt Yaroslava Shvedova (KAZ) 6-2, 6-3
Bernarda Pera (USA) bt Petra Martic (CRO) 6-3, 6-2
Belinda Bencic (SUI x8) bt Kristina Mladenovic (FRA) 6-4, 6-2
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