PARIS, France - Former semifinalists Timea Bacsinszky and Dominika Cibulkova led the charge around the grounds into the second round at the French Open on Sunday, as each scored straight set victories over a Spaniard to begin their fortnight at Roland Garros.
Bacsinszky, the No.30 seed, eased past Sara Sorribes Tormo, 6-1, 6-2, while No.6 seed Cibulkova also brushed past Lara Arruabarrena, 6-2, 6-1.
It looked easy, but it was very intense," Bacsinszky said. "I think she was also quite tense at the start. I was on the right track, and there really weren't many openings for her to put me in a difficult position. She couldn't outpace me. If I needed to defend, I knew I could. I think I placed my energy where and when it was needed and I've also kept energy for the next round."
"I think I managed to adjust the length of my shots. When it was short balls, she was playing better, so 6-1, 6-2, sounds simple, but I would say that most of the time in today's match, the length of my shots was good."
Bacsinszky will face American Madison Brengle, who came out the victor in the first marathon match of the fortnight over Julia Goerges, 1-6, 6-3, 13-11 in two hours, 47 minutes.
"I think it was a bit of an advantage that I was serving...first, because she was serving so well. She was holding quite easily up until that last one, and I had match point earlier, and I kind of botched that," said Brengle, post-match.
"When it started getting so late, I just played each game as is. You're like [in] one game, and then almost as its own little thing...It was getting so long and, like, she was holding quite easily through some of those games, and it felt like it was so close yet so far. So, yeah, I was trying to just focus on each game as it was."
The seeds did not have it all their own way, however, as both Mirjana Lucic-Baroni and Roberta Vinci were sent home on the first day of play.
To begin the day, Monica Puig ousted the No.31 seed Vinci, 6-3, 3-6, 6-2, before Turkey's Cagla Buyukakcay advanced to the second round for the second straight year thanks to a 6-3, 6-3 defeat of No.22 seed and Australian Open semifinalist Lucic-Baroni.
"I haven't had the most amazing year, and, you know, I tend to put a lot of pressure on myself," said Puig, who was in tears after the victory. "When you get to a Grand Slam, it's just a different feel. You want to do well. You want to pass rounds. You want to have some big wins. I've never beaten Roberta in competition before, and she's such a tough player, especially on the clay.
"Today was just all about the heart and the fight and just I was willing to go the extra mile to bring out that match. I'm just glad that there at the end, I was able to maintain my composure and close it out."
Elsewhere around the grouds, France's Oceane Dodin gave the home crowd something to cheer with a 6-2, 6-3 win over Camila Giorgi and 2016 quarterfinalist Shelby Rogers returned with a 7-6(4), 6-4 victory over Marina Erakovic.
Ukraine's Lesia Tsurenko won the only compatriot match in the women's first round draw, defeating qualifier Kateryna Kozlova, 6-4, 6-0, but Bethanie Mattek-Sands put the qualifiers in the win column with a 7-5, 6-2 win over Evgeniya Rodina.
Also advancing was Jelena Ostapenko, who rallied from a set down to defeat Louisa Chirico, 4-6, 6-3, 6-2 and Kurumi Nara, who did the same against 15-year-old American wildcard Amanda Anisimova, 3-6, 7-5, 6-4. Finally, Belarusian Aliaksandra Sasnovich closed out play in the fading light on Court 2 as she also rallied to advance past Viktorija Golubic, 4-6, 7-5, 6-3.