BEIJING -- World No.2 Iga Swiatek advanced to the second round of the China Open after defeating No.55 Sara Sorribes Tormo 6-4, 6-3 on Monday. Making her tournament debut at the WTA 1000 event in Beijing, Swiatek will face France's Varvara Gracheva next.
Swiatek fired 17 winners in the 50-minute opening set to hold off the Spaniard. After an early exchange of breaks, Swiatek broke open the match by breaking Sorribes Tormo for a 4-3 lead. Along with her reliable baseline game, Swiatek made frequent forays into the net to successfully blunt Sorribes Tormo's desire to extend rallies, winning 15 of 17 net points in the opening set.
"For sure, today I felt really confident and comfortable because I've been practicing that a lot," Swiatek said. "I'm pretty proud of my performance at the net because, technically, I feel like my volley has changed. I'm really happy with that.
"I think against some players it's kind of necessary to go to the net, and today that was that kind of a match."
After taking the lead for good, Swiatek dialed up her aggressive play. She won 12 of the first 14 points of the second set to build a double-break lead at 3-0. Though Sorribes successfully broke Swiatek three times down the stretch, the Pole refused to let Sorribes hold serve once, breaking in all five of her service games.
"You have to be patient with her because she's running for every ball," Swiatek said. "I kind of wanted to just be solid and be intensive but not make too many mistakes with risking."
Swiatek finished with 27 winners to 25 unforced errors, breaking serve a total of seven times. Sorribes Tormo hit six winners to 16 unforced errors.
More from Beijing:
- US Open champ Gauff ready to get back to work
- Swiatek in no rush to reclaim No.1 ranking
- From 'Daughter of China' to World No.1, Sabalenka returns to China
- Draw analysis: Rybakina and Zheng to clash in Round 1
After coming through a well-contested three-set win over Eva Lys in the first round on Sunday, 13th seed Jelena Ostapenko advanced to the Round of 16 on Monday via walkover. The Latvian was set to face Linda Noskova in the second round but the Czech teen was forced to withdraw due to illness.
Ostapenko will face either No.4 seed Jessica Pegula or Anna Blinkova next.