No. 9 seed Ons Jabeur of Tunisia defeated Sorana Cirstea of Romania 6-0, 7-6 (1) in an hour and 15 minutes Tuesday in her first-round match at Internazionali BNL d’Italia in Rome.
It marked the seventh straight match win for Jabeur, who entered Rome off her first WTA 1000 title last week in Madrid.
Jabeur cruised through the first set, taking a 5-0, 40-0 lead and finally winning it on her third set point. The second set required more work, as Cirstea went 2-for-2 on break point opportunities and charged back from down 5-2 to ahead 6-5.
Jabeur won a service game to force the tiebreak and earned the first three points en route to victory. The seventh-ranked player in the world finished 20 of 26 on first-service points (76.9 percent). She’ll play Australian Ajla Tomljanovic in the second round.
One of the highest-profile matches of the day ended in retirement. Canada’s Bianca Andreescu, the 2019 U.S. Open winner, advanced after British teenager Emma Raducanu, the 2021 U.S. Open champ, retired down 6-2, 2-1.
Raducanu retired due to a lower back injury, prompting well wishes from Andreescu, who recently took a six-month break for physical and mental recovery.
“I do wish her a speedy recovery and hope I can keep the same energy in the next rounds.”
Andreescu won 11 of 13 first-service points and pushed Raducanu to break point 11 times, though the teen battled back to save eight of them.
“It’s definitely up there,” Andreescu said of whether it was her best performance of the season. “Also my match with Danielle Collins in Madrid was very good. In my opinion, ‘very good’ for me is defined by consistency, effort, execution. So I hope I can continue to improve on that.”
Americans fared well, with four of the six in action Tuesday advancing. American qualifier Lauren Davis stunned Latvian 11th seed Jelena Ostapenko 6-2, 6-3, winning 18 of 21 first-service points (85.7 percent) and holding a 4-1 edge in aces.
No. 13 seed Jessica Pegula, the runner-up to Jabeur in Madrid, opened her tournament with a 4-6, 6-3, 6-4 win over Russia’s Liudmila Samsonova in two hours and 16 minutes. Madison Brengle beat Ukraine’s Marta Kostyuk 6-4, 6-3, and Amanda Anisimova won a see-saw battle with Tereza Martincova of the Czech Republic, 6-2, 0-6, 6-4.
Russia’s Ekaterina Alexandrova knocked out Sloane Stephens 6-1, 6-2 in just 51 minutes, while Elena-Gabriela Ruse of Romania defeated Shelby Rogers 3-6, 6-1, 6-4.
Tuesday’s other winners were Sara Sorribes Tormo of Spain, Camila Osorio of Colombia, Elena Rybakina of Kazakhstan and Jil Teichmann of Switzerland.
–Field Level Media