PARIS, France - No.10 seed Victoria Azarenka needed just over an hour to score an opening victory at the French Open on Sunday, defeating Montenegro's Danka Kovinic, 6-1, 6-2.
Scoring an identical victory in scoreline to the pair's first career meeting - which also came at a Grand Slam at the 2016 Australian Open - the former World No.1 continued her scintillating form she's showed over the past month over the course of the 61-minute victory, in which she broke serve four times and never faced a break point herself.
After three games, the first-round match was suspended for over a half-hour due to rainy and wet conditions on Court Suzanne Lenglen, but the Belarusian hardly put a foot wrong upon resumption through to the end of the match.
"When I was warming up it was already drizzling. So when it drizzles for about two hours in a row, it kind of gets a little heavier... It's very tricky at the moment to have these conditions," Azarenka said after the match.
"We talked with the supervisor. She was very kind to let us know that there was another heavier cloud to go by, [and] once that passes, we're going to go on the court, so we were ready to play whenever they called us."
Dropping just four points in the next four games, she wrapped up in the opening set in just under 30 minutes of actual match play, and won five straight games after the Montenegrin held to open the second set.
In all, it was the World No.74 who struggled to hit through the heavy conditions, as she racked up 22 unforced errors to just five winners in the match and also served six double faults. Azarenka won well over 50 percent of the points played in Kovinic's service games, conversely protecting serve well herself.
Landing nearly 80 percent of her first serves, Azarenka lost just 10 points across eight service games in all.
"Today, I felt that I moved actually really well. I was very fluid, I was very fluid with my movement. I was able it slide everywhere. So I guess when I focus on what I need to do better, these things kind of come automatically," Azarenka added.
"It's all about adjustment these two week. Some shots that I hit today, I don't know if it was good tennis or it was just great adjustments because they weren't really pretty shots sometimes."
Up next, Azarenka could face Venus Williams for the third time this year and the second time in as many weeks, after beating the American in Rome in the opening round of the Internazionali BNL d'Italia. Williams faces Slovakian Anna Karolina Schmiedlova later on Sunday.
"It's going to be a lot about adjusting. Rome was hot, there was a lot of high bounces, like I felt that sometimes I had to jump to hit the return. I'm definitely going to do that here, so I think it's just going to be about adjustment," Azarenka assessed.
"There is no surprises with, for me or for Venus, I think it's about execution. We all know that execution, even if you know things, you still have to do the job."