The Guadalajara Open AKRON kicked off on Sunday and the results rolled with the favorites.
2021 US Open finalist Leylah Fernandez dropped just four games to move past Asia Muhammad 6-1, 6-3 in her opener. The win sets up a second-round clash with 13th-seed Elise Mertens. The Belgian advanced with a 7-6(4), 6-2 win over her compatriot Yanina Wickmayer.
Fernandez comes into the tournament ranked No.74, but has enjoyed consistent success at tournaments hosted in Mexico. She was back-to-back champion in Monterrey in 2021 and 2022, where she won her first Hologic WTA Tour title, and a finalist in Acapulco in 2020.
Taylor Townsend came through two tough sets against Australian wild card Ajla Tomljanovic. The American prevailed 7-6(3), 6-4 and will face No.5 seed Belinda Bencic next. The Swiss won their only prior meeting, on the green clay of Charleston in 2019.
2017 US Open champion Sloane Stephens closed out the day's action with a 7-5, 6-4 win over qualifier Ann Li. Like Fernandez, Stephens is looking to tap into the positive memories she has in Guadalajara. Stephens won the WTA 250 title at the same venue in 2022.
More results from opening day in Guadalajara:
Alycia Parks defeated Lauren Davis 6-3, 6-2 and will face top seed Ons Jabeur next. With Guadalajara played at altitude, Parks' big serve paid dividends. The 22-year-old fired 11 aces.
Canadian wild card Eugenie Bouchard earned her first tour-level main-draw win since April, defeating Mexico's Renata Zarazua 6-1, 7-6(4). Bouchard will face No.7 seed Veronika Kudermetova in the second round. She is bidding to post back-to-back tour-level wins since the Chennai Open last fall.
Spain's Cristina Bucsa posted the most dominant win of the day, defeating former World No.10 Kristina Mladenovic 6-0, 6-0.