Mirra Andreeva made a winning return to action as the No.5 seed in the Open Capfinances Rouen Métropole, defeating Nadia Podoroska 6-1, 6-3 in 1 hour and 15 minutes.

The 16-year-old was cheered on by former Wimbledon champion Conchita Martínez, with whom she is trialling a new coaching partnership. Martínez has previously coached former World No.1s Karolina Pliskova and Garbiñe Muguruza.

Andreeva said that she had begun working with the Spaniard "two to three weeks ago" after being connected via her agent. A trial practise week went well, and they are now testing out the relationship in tournament action.

"So far, so good," said Andreeva, "I like it, I hope she likes it too. We will see how it will go and then we will decide about our next tournaments. I cannot say there are special aspects we are working on. But the first thing we worked on was my slice, because she was a good slicer. So she told me some tricks, and I'm trying to use it when I have time and a good possibility on court."

Andreeva was playing her first match since falling to Katie Volynets in the first round of Indian Wells. Subsequently, she withdrew from Miami due to a wrist injury. However, she showed little sign of rust to dismiss former Roland Garros semifinalist Podoroska, particularly in an outstanding first set. Andreeva won 18 of the first 21 points in a flurry of winners off both wings, as well as at net.

"Now it's good," Andreeva said of her wrist. "We've made a lot of good work with my physios, and now I don't feel any pain or discomfort."

The contest was the pair's second meeting, and took place exactly one year after their first, in the 2023 Chiasso ITF W60 semifinals. Andreeva also conceded just four games on that occasion, winning 6-4, 6-0 as part of the 16-match winning streak she put together on clay last year.

No.65-ranked Podoroska gritted through a three-deuce hold to get on the board, and put up a stronger fight in the second set, but Andreeva remained in front throughout. The teenager came through a four-deuce hold of her own, saving three break points, for 5-1 in the first set, snuffing out any hope Podoroska had of shifting the momentum.

In the second, Andreeva broke for the first time with a sharply angled pass for 4-2; and though Podoroska broke back immediately, a clean return winner put Andreeva in front again for 5-3. Four consecutive winners -- a smash, an ace and two drop shots -- sealed her first match win since the Australian Open.

"I cannot say I didn't win a match for a long time, but I lost two matches in a row," Andreeva said in her on-court interview. "So this victory was important to me. I'm very happy with my level overall."

Andreeva will play either Elina Avanesyan or qualifier Fiona Ferro in the second round. Potential quarterfinal opponents include No.3 seed Anhelina Kalinina and wild card Naomi Osaka.