ROME, Italy - Garbiñe Muguruza won her first match in over a month at the the Internazionali BNL d'Italia on Monday.
For the third time this season, Muguruza defeated Zheng Saisai without the loss of a set in the opening round of the Premier 5 event in the Italian capital, 6-3, 6-4.
After an opening round exit at the Mutua Madrid Open last week, Muguruza scored her first victory since she won her first title of 2019 at the Abierto GNP Seguros at the start of April.
"It was a slow start but I'm happy because last week wasn't a good week for me," Muguruza said after the match.
"I love Rome and it is very important for me to get as many matches as I can for the Grand Slam at the French Open."
The Spaniard held on in a match that saw a combined 12 breaks of serve in just short of an hour and 40 minutes to make it a hatrick of wins against the Chinese player this season, following victories against her at the Australian Open and in Dubai.
"We played three times already this year, so I kind of knew her game," she said. "I know she's tougher in clay courts, but I managed to stay motivated and happy."
Muguruza needed to defend her serve throughout the match, overcoming a 3-1 deficit in the opener to win the last five games, and overcoming nine straight service breaks in the second set to seal a spot in the second round.
The Spaniard, unseeded in Rome this week, will next face either Australian Open semifinalist Danielle Collins or No.11 seed Caroline Wozniacki.
"I do feel a big difference between Madrid and Rome," Mugurusa said. "In the past I've played good tournaments in Rome, so I guess that also helps."