The Spaniard looked to be in control and her progress to the second round a formality in her first outing since the Australian Open. She won the first set with a double break of Kato's serve and showed little sign of being troubled by the shoulder injury that kept her out of the Dubai Duty Free Tennis Championships last week.
The WTA World No.201 was outstanding from the baseline, however, as she stunned her opponent to claim the second set 6-1 and sealed her first ever win over a top-100 opponent with the solitary break of the third.
? WTA (@WTA) February 28, 2017
"I'm very happy with this game," said the 22-year-old afterwards. "I was always aggressive in my play and my forehand was good. This is my first top 100 win so it was a good experience for me."
Kato will play fellow qualifier Ashleigh Barty of Australia in the second round.