Emma Raducanu returned to the North American summer hard-court swing with a 6-4, 6-2 victory over American qualifier Louisa Chirico in the first round of the Citi Open on Tuesday night.
Raducanu, the reigning US Open champion and the No.2 seed from Great Britain, took 1 hour and 27 minutes to oust No.216 Chirico and move into the second round in Washington D.C.
The victor speaks: "Definitely feels really good to get a win here in D.C.," Raducanu said in her post-match press conference. "And after not playing for quite a bit after Wimbledon or many matches at all this year, I think it's a really nice feeling just to get on the board.
"I think playing any first round is always pretty challenging. Then when you're not necessarily that match-sharp, small things you don't necessarily get right. It's just important to stay calm."
By the numbers: The World No.10 Raducanu defended her service well during the clash, winning 76 percent of points behind both her first and second serves. Raducanu lost serve just once in the match, and she also converted four of her 10 break points.
Sturdy-hitting Chirico had five more winners than Raducanu in the clash, but the qualifier came unglued with 42 unforced errors, more than double Raducanu's 18.
Key moments: Raducanu was a point away from a 3-0, double-break lead in the opening set. Chirico, though, hit a volley winner to erase that chance, and the American used all-court play to eventually pull back level at 3-3.
However, strong returning allowed Raducanu to reclaim her break advantage at 5-4, and the 19-year-old Brit then swept through a love service hold to consolidate the break and clinch the opening set.
In the second set, Raducanu converted her third break point of the 2-2 game to move ahead, and she was untroubled from there, collecting the final five games of the match in total. Raducanu's last three service games of the affair were holds at love.
Next up: Raducanu will now have her first meeting with Colombia's Camila Osorio in the second round. Osorio snapped a five-match losing streak earlier on Tuesday by knocking out former Australian Open champion Sofia Kenin.