Iga Swiatek of Poland got off to a rip-roaring start in her Olympics debut, as she defeated Mona Barthel of Germany 6-2, 6-2 in the opening round of the Tokyo 2020 Games.
The No.6 seed Swiatek, the 2020 Roland Garros champion, needed just 67 minutes to oust the former Top 25 player Barthel on Centre Court at Ariake Tennis Park.
"It was a special moment for me," Swiatek said following her win, as reported by the ITF. "I know that right now I really feel the Olympic vibe.”
Swiatek, the 2018 Youth Olympics doubles gold medalist (with Kaja Juvan), stormed through the match, breaking serve six times and firing 13 winners to Barthel's eight. The 20-year-old Pole improved to 28-8 on the season as she seeks her third singles title of the year.
Swiatek used her powerful groundstrokes to charge to a quick 5-0 lead, before double-faulting her service away to allow Barthel on the board at 5-1.
Barthel, who fell to Urszula Radwanska in the first round of the 2012 London Olympics, saved a break point in the next game to edge slightly closer at 5-2.
However, Swiatek sealed the one-set lead in the following game, then took control of the encounter after an exchange of breaks early in the second set. Swiatek won the final four games of the match, wrapping up the victory with a love hold which was punctuated by her lone ace of the day.
In the second round, Swiatek will face rising Spaniard Paula Badosa. World No.29 Badosa ousted former Top 10 player Kristina Mladenovic of France, 6-7(4), 6-3, 6-0.
The reigning Roland Garros champion, No.8 seed Barbora Krejcikova of the Czech Republic, also moved into the second round. Her opponent, Zarina Diyas of Kazakhstan, retired while Krejcikova was leading 5-2.
Krejcikova, currently ranked at a career-high World No.11, hopes to extend her breakthrough season in singles with a strong showing in Tokyo. She has won an astounding 21 of her last 22 matches.
The Czech started the year ranked World No.65 but has won her first three singles titles this season, including her first singles major at Roland Garros.
Krejcikova and Katerina Siniakova, who have won three Grand Slam titles in women's doubles, are also medal favorites in the women's doubles draw, where they are the No.1 seeds.
This year's Roland Garros runner-up, No.13 seed Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova, also had a quick start to her Olympic campaign. Pavlyuchenkova, the top singles player representing the Russian Olympic Committee, dispatched former Top 5 player Sara Errani of Italy 6-0, 6-1.
Pavlyuchenkova converted seven of her 12 break points in the 70-minute clash, matching her second-round performance from the 2016 Rio Games. For Errani, it was her third first-round loss in her four singles showings at the Olympics.
No.9 seed Belinda Bencic of Switzerland was also a first-round winner, as she fended off Jessica Pegula of the United States, 6-3, 6-3 in an hour and 19 minutes.
Bencic won 82 percent of her first-service points and was never broken, as she held off the rapidly improving American to book her spot in the second round, in her first Olympics appearance.
No.15 seed Elena Rybakina of Kazakhstan also clinched a straight-set victory on opening day. Rybakina defeated former US Open champion Samantha Stosur of Australia 6-4, 6-2 in a match that lasted 70 minutes.
No.14 seed Maria Sakkari of Greece came out on top in one of the most evenly-matched first-round draws by ranking. World No.19 Sakkari eliminated 28th-ranked Anett Kontaveit of Estonia, 7-5, 6-2, to clinch a spot in the second round.
Kontaveit had a 5-2 lead in the match before Sakkari went on a five-game winning streak to steal the opening set, closing out the first and final games of that run with aces.
Sakkari had much less trouble in the second set, as she finished up the match with 25 winners to Kontaveit's 16. The Greek will now face Nina Stojanovic of Serbia in the second round, after Stojanovic defeated Japan's Nao Hibino, 6-3, 6-3.
Switzerland's Viktorija Golubic, a quarterfinalist at Wimbledon earlier this month, notched a quick first-round victory as well. World No.50 Golubic was the first winner of the day as she eased past Colombian teenager Maria Camila Osorio Serrano, 6-4, 6-1.
Golubic took slightly under an hour to quell the challenge from 19-year-old Osorio Serrano, who won her first WTA singles title on home soil in Bogota earlier this year.
Having made her Top 50 debut after her run to the last eight at Wimbledon, Golubic continued her hot form in Tokyo, winning nearly 60 percent of points when returning the Colombian's service.
Another teenager, Canada's Leylah Fernandez, did pick up a win in the first round. The 18-year-old Fernandez outlasted Dayana Yastremska of Ukraine, 6-3, 3-6, 6-0, in just over two hours of play.