RABAT, Morocco - No.8 seed Alison van Uytvanck moved safely through to the second round of the Grand Prix De SAR La Princesse Lalla Meryem with a 6-4, 6-3 victory over Pauline Parmentier on Monday.
The Belgian saved five of the six break points she faced in the match, breaking the Frenchwoman decisively in the late stages of each set to seal a victory in her first appearance in Rabat in four years.
"I think it's always difficult to play against Pauline in the first round, especially on clay," the Belgian said after the match.
"I knew it would be tough, so I'm happy with the way that I played. I was playing aggressively without making many unforced errors."
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After the pair traded breaks early in the first set, with Parmentier building a 3-1 lead that she was unable to hold on to, the Belgian scored the decisive break in the set's penultimate game.
Van Uytvanck needed four set points to seal a one-set edge, with Parmentier proving a tough out from 40-0 down in the 10th game, and the No.8 seed saved three break points before ultimately sealing her lead in three quarters of an hour.
The pair went with serve for the first six games of the second set, the last of which proved cruical as Parmentier hoped to find a way back into the match.
The World No.69 had two break points for a 4-2 lead, only to see van Uytvanck hold on to level, and would not win a game the rest of the way.
Van Uytvanck will look to kick-start her clay season in Morocco, as she was a second-round upset victim in her last tournament on the terre battue this season - nearly three weeks ago in Lugano.
"This is a well-organized tournament, they clay is really good, and I'm enjoying being in Morocco for the second time," she said. "This tournament has everything you need, which makes it really enjoyable."