TOKYO, Japan - Fifth seed Dominika Cibulkova made a solid start to her campaign at the Toray Pan Pacific Open, beating Carla Suárez Navarro 6-3, 6-3.
"I have to say it was a very, very solid match from my side," Cibulkova said. "It was the first match in Asia...and today, I was really playing well from the first ball. I was playing aggressive and my placing of the balls was really deep, and I didn't really [let her] play what she really likes.
"I was aggressive on my serve and the return and I was changing the direction of the balls. She couldn't read my forehand, and overall, I was playing really good."
In a bright opening to the match, with both players looking on form, Cibulkova got the early break and served out the first set, 6-3.
The Spaniard's forehand was strong throughout, but Cibulkova got the early break in the second set as well to edge in front.
She displayed some impressive big hitting, and her opponent had no answer for that kind of power. The Slovakian finished the match in style, breaking once more, this time to love to secure her place in the second round.
"Since my American trip...I started to feel that things are coming back together, and I felt really good on the court. In New Haven, even though I lost in the finals, I was really close to winning and it was a great match from [Daria] Gavrilova," Cibulkova said, assessing her summer.
"I had a tough one against [Sloane] Stephens [at the US Open]. I was disappointed about this loss because...it was great tennis, and I felt like this wasn't a second round of a Grand Slam, that we could've met and played like this in the second week.
"I'm happy I'm able to take my good form here in Asia, and the first match, as I said, I was playing really well. Carla is a great opponent, a great player and I will try to keep my momentum with me."
She will play Katerina Siniakova in the next round, after the Czech beat another Slovak, Jana Cepelova. Catch up on the rest of Tuesday's action here.