NOTTINGHAM, Great Britain -- No.1 seed Caroline Garcia pulled off a blistering tournament debut at the Nature Valley Open on Wednesday, as the Frenchwoman dispatched wild card Naiktha Bains of Great Britain, 6-1, 6-2, to move into the second round.
After two completely washed-out days at the tournament, the entirety of first-round matches were played indoors during more rain on Wednesday. There, World No.28 Garcia claimed a win in the first meeting between the two combatants after just under an hour of play.
"[In the last] couple of days, it’s become more complicated, but it’s unlucky for everyone," Garcia said to the media, after the match. "We just try to adapt to the situation, try to be more positive, try to take all the positives we can. It’s still a tournament and points every round, so I just fight for it."
Garcia, a winner of seven career WTA singles titles, is seeking her second singles trophy at a grass-court event to go alongside her Mallorca championship from 2016. In her triumph over 226th-ranked Bains, Garcia won 75 percent of points on both her first and second deliveries, and never faced a break point in the clash.
"I want to play my best, try to improve every day," said Garcia. "Try to be a bit more aggressive, because grass courts have shorter points, and try to enjoy it and be the best I can be."
#NatureValleyOpen update sadly the rain is back, the covers are on and there is no play with 3 women's matches moving indoors at 1pm 👉 https://t.co/C7KL9umzFP #RainRainGoAway ☔️☔️ pic.twitter.com/BhEPdgqTa9
— LTA (@the_LTA) June 12, 2019
Top-seeded Garcia will face another Brit in her next match, as she will next meet the winner of the first-round encounter between wild card Maia Lumsden and qualifier Tara Moore.
Bains held in her first service game to level the opening set at 1-1, but from that point forward, Garcia went on a tear. The Frenchwoman claimed the first service break of the tilt by forcing an error with a ferocious forehand, earning a 3-1 lead in the process.
Another strong forehand by the top seed, this one a service return, forced another error from Bains on break point to cede a 5-1 lead to Garcia. The former World No.4 continued her torrid play to close out a fifth straight game, and with it the set, with her fourth ace of the opener.
Garcia did not take her foot off of the accelerator as the second set got underway. The No.1 seed used powerful returning to break serve in the opening game of the set, and she increased her lead to a double-break at 3-0. Garcia fired a stirring putaway to get through a close game and hold for 4-0, extending her winning streak to nine straight games.
Bains finally ended Garcia’s run by holding for 4-1 with a forehand passing winner, and the Brit held serve once more to reach 5-2. But Garcia zoomed to double match point in that game, and though Bains did well to erase the first with a return winner, on the second, the French star polished off her win with a sixth and final ace.