CHARLESTON, SC, USA - Former finalist Jelena Ostapenko is off and running once again at the Volvo Car Open.
The No.10 seed and 2017 runner-up needed just 75 minutes to dispatch Johanna Larsson in Monday's first round, 6-1, 6-4.
After losing serve in the opening game of the match, the Latvian was dominant, breaking the Swede's serve three times to win the opener and once more to seal a tight second set.
The first eight games of the second went with serve as Larsson saved one break point in each of the first and fifth games, but the Swede was unable to hold off Ostapenko on the Latvian's fourth chance of the set, and second of the decisive ninth game.
"I think in general I played quite well. I wasn't missing so much and I was trying to hit more winners," Ostapenko said after the match.
"She's a great player. I've played a couple of matches against her and it's never easy to beat her because she fights until the end. I was just trying to play my best and I'm glad I won the match."
Despite serving seven double faults in the match, Ostapenko rounded into form on serve in the opening-round encounter.
Six of the former French Open champion's doubles came in the first set, and she raised her first-serve percentage from 47 percent to 67 percent in the second.
Ostapenko did not face a break point in the second set, losing just nine points on serve overall in five service games, and finished the victory with a flourish - serving her second ace of the match to seal her second-round spot.
"I'm really glad that I'm here. It's a really great atmosphere here, and I'm just trying to show my best," Ostapenko said.
"Of course, you have to move differently because [clay] is very slippery. I kind of like clay courts, and when I started practicing after Miami...I was really happy that I could play on clay again, especially on green clay, because it's much faster than red clay."
The Latvian sent a message off the ground in the match, as she hammered 27 winners to Larsson's 11 in the straight sets victory.
The No.10 seed will next face home favorite and wildcard Shelby Rogers, who dispatched Russia's Evgeniya Rodina in straight sets in her first match in over a year following knee surgery.