No. 2 seed Kiki Bertens kicked off defense of her title at the Volvo Car Open in Charleston, S.C., on Tuesday, losing just three games against Italy’s Martina Trevisan in the tournament’s second round.
Bertens, the world No. 6 from the Netherlands, needed just 59 minutes to defeat the Italian qualifier 6-2, 6-1. Bertens had just 11 unforced errors compared to 21 for Trevisan.
“It’s always tough for the first match on clay,” Bertens told WTAtennis.com. “In the beginning, I was searching for the rhythm and not putting too much on the ball. From there, I started playing a little bit more aggressive, and in the end, I was happy with my game.”
It was Bertens’ first match of the season on clay, while Trevisan was playing in her fourth of the week. Bertens will next face either No. 15 seed Maria Sakkari of Greece or former champion Andrea Petkovic of Germany, who each won on Tuesday.
Top seed Sloane Stephens of the United States also moved on after defeating Spain’s Sara Sorribes Tormo 7-6 (4), 7-6 (4) in a hard-fought match that went 2 hours and 37 minutes.
In other seeded action Tuesday, No. 11 seed Danielle Collins shut down Madison Brengle, 6-1, 6-3, in a battle of Americans, while No. 12 Mihaela Buzarnescu of Romania needed three sets to defeat Poland’s Magdalena Frech, 6-1, 4-6, 7-5. Sakkari also went to three sets against Switzerland’s Conny Perrin, 7-5, 3-6, 6-1, and Petra Martic, the 16 seed from Croatia, outlasted Amanda Anisimova, 6-4, 2-6, 6-1.
Abierto GNP Seguros
The No. 2 seed in Monterrey, Mexico, had a much more difficult time in the first match of her title defense, as Garbine Muguruza came back from deficits in both sets to defeat Elena-Gabriela Ruse of Romania.
Muguruza, from Spain, rallied from a double-break deficit in the first set and was twice a break down in the second, saving a total of three set points before prevailing, 6-4, 7-6 (4).
“It was a tough match for the first round. With all the conditions, I just had to fight and never lose the hope,” Muguruza said afterward. “I have five matches in total. Today was the first one, and I’m looking forward (to defending my title) one by one.”
Muguruza will next face Russia’s Margarita Gasparyan, who rolled past Mexican wild-card Victoria Rodriguez, 6-1, 6-0 on Monday.
Also moving on Tuesday were No. 1 seed Angelique Kerber of Germany, who battled Kristina Kucova of Slovakia, 7-6 (4), 6-2; No. 3 seed and four-time winner Anastasia Pavlyuchenko, who lost just three games to fellow Russian Anna Blinkova, 6-0, 6-3; while No. 7 seed Kristina Mladenovic of France got past Brazilian Beatriz Haddad Maia, 6-4, 1-6, 7-6 (5).
In other seeded action, Belarus No. 5 Victoria Azarenka defeated Japan’s Miyu Kato 6-4, 6-2, while American No. 4 Alison Riske fell to countrywoman Sachia Vickery 7-6 (6), 6-1.
—Field Level Media