Shenzhen Open: Defending champion Aryna Sabalenka off to winning start; Garbine Muguruza fights back from set down to progress

  • Defending champion Aryna Sabalenka started her 2020 season in style with a 6-3 6-0 victory over Russian qualifier Margarita Gasparyan in the first round of the Shenzhen Open on Monday

  • Sabalenka will next face the Czech Republic’s Kristyna Pliskova, who beat Romanian Irina-Camelia Begu 6-3 6-3

  • In a battle between two Americans, Shelby Rogers beat Nicole Gibbs 6-3 5-7 6-4 in a match that lasted two hours and 33 minutes while fourth seed and local hope Wang Qiang got the better of Tunisia’s Ons Jabeur 6-0 6-3

Defending champion Aryna Sabalenka started her 2020 season in style with a 6-3 6-0 victory over Russian qualifier Margarita Gasparyan in the first round of the Shenzhen Open on Monday.

 Shenzhen Open: Defending champion Aryna Sabalenka off to winning start; Garbine Muguruza fights back from set down to progress

File image of Aryna Sabalenka. AP

The Belarusian — who also won titles in Wuhan and Zhuhai last year — needed only 71 minutes to wrap up the contest, breaking Gasparyan five times on centre court to advance to the last 16.

“I’m happy to start my season with a two-set win. It was a tough match and really tough to start. She’s a great player and it was tough to play against her. She has strong strokes,” she said in her post-match interview.

Sabalenka will next face the Czech Republic’s Kristyna Pliskova, who beat Romanian Irina-Camelia Begu 6-3 6-3.

Sixth seed Garbine Muguruza fought back to beat China’s Wang Xin Yu 3-6 6-3 6-0 while Aliaksandra Sasnovich advanced with a 6-2 6-3 victory over Germany’s Anna-Lena Friedsam.

In a battle between two Americans, Shelby Rogers beat Nicole Gibbs 6-3 5-7 6-4 in a match that lasted two hours and 33 minutes while fourth seed and local hope Wang Qiang got the better of Tunisia’s Ons Jabeur 6-0 6-3.

Seventh seed Elena Rybakina of Kazakhstan beat China’s Zheng Saisai 6-2 1-6 6-2.

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Updated Date: Jan 06, 2020 14:56:05 IST