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Cirstea Makes Winning Start In Baku

Top seed Sorana Cirstea delivered a confident performance on her Baku Cup debut, while defending champion Elina Svitolina also advanced.

Published July 22, 2014 12:14

Cirstea Makes Winning Start In Baku
Sorana Cirstea

BAKU, Azerbaijan - Top seed Sorana Cirstea delivered a confident performance on her Baku Cup debut, easing past wildcard Ons Jabeur in straight sets.

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A shoulder injury has restricted Cirstea to just one match in the past two months, but there were few signs of rustiness during her 6-3, 6-3 win over Jabeur on Tuesday.

Cirstea's only moment of worry came at the very start of the match, when a couple of double faults saw her slip a break behind. This only succeeded in strengthening her resolve, as the Romanian reeled off the next six games to take charge.

Despite a few more wobbles on serve, Cirstea rarely looked like loosening her grip on proceedings, completing victory after just under an hour and a half on court.

Also into the second round was WTA Rising Star Elina Svitolina, who began the defense of her title with a 6-2, 6-4 victory over qualifier Nigina Abduraimova.

No.2 seed Svitolina broke four times on her way to the first set and despite some spirited late resistance from Abduraimova, she eventually wrapped up victory on her seventh match point.

Elsewhere, there were a couple of surprise results as seeds Magdalena Rybarikova, Kurumi Nara and Heather Watson all made early exits.

Since reaching the semifinals in 's-Hertogenbosch, Rybarikova has failed to win a match and a 6-4, 7-6(7) defeat to qualifier Misa Eguchi extended this streak. The No.3 seed had her chances - she was 3-0 up in the second set and held a set point in the tie-break - but Eguchi held her nerve to win her first WTA main draw match.

No.4 seed Nara lost to former French Open champion Francesca Schiavone, 6-2, 6-2, while Kristina Mladenovic won a topsy-turvy encounter with Watson, the No.7 seed, 6-2, 3-6, 6-0.

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