Vondrousova begins grass-court campaign with win

vondrousova begins grass-court campaign with win

Marketa Vondrousova reached the French Open quarter-finals earlier in June

Wimbledon champion Marketa Vondrousova began her grass-court campaign with a straight-set win over Spain's Rebeka Masarova at the Berlin Open.

The 24-year-old won 6-4 6-3 in the German capital and will play Russian Anna Kalinskaya next.

The Czech world number six became the first unseeded player to win the Wimbledon women's singles title with victory over Ons Jabeur in last year's final.

Vondrousova has now won her past eight matches on grass following her maiden Slam triumph at the All England Club last summer.

She had to overcome three break points during the opening set before striking in the ninth game for a 5-4 lead and serving it out.

Vondrousova maintained that momentum and immediately broke Masarova in the second set before establishing a 4-1 advantage with another break of serve.

Masarova responded to reduce the deficit, but Vondrousova closed out victory on the Spaniard's serve to ensure a winning start as she prepares to defend her Wimbledon crown.

Eight of the world's top 10 are competing in Berlin, with only top-ranked Iga Swiatek and world number seven Jasmine Paolini absent.

On Wednesday, Chinese sixth seed Zheng Qinwen begins against four-time major winner Naomi Osaka, Greek seventh seed Maria Sakkari plays two-time Slam champion Victoria Azarenka and Tunisian eighth seed Jabeur meets Wang Xinyu.

Defending champion Ostapenko loses in Birmingham

At the Birmingham Classic, Jelena Ostapenko's title defence was short lived as the former French Open winner suffered defeat in her opening match.

Ostapenko was beaten 6-3 6-3 by Italian 23-year-old Elisabetta Cocciaretto.

The 27-year-old Latvian saw her serve broken three times in an opening set, before Cocciaretto reeled off four games in a row to close it out.

A single break in the second was enough for Cocciaretto to seal victory, eventually doing so with her seventh match point.

Romanian third seed Sorana Cirstea is also out following a 7-6 (7-2) 6-2 loss to Lin Zhu.

The early exits of Ostapenko and Cirstea leaves Czech world number 22 Barbora Krejcikova and British number one Katie Boulter as the highest-ranked seeds remaining in the tournament.

After last week retaining her Nottingham Open title, fourth seed Boulter begins her campaign against Ukraine's Anhelina Kalinina on Tuesday.

Fellow Britons Harriet Dart, Heather Watson and Amelia Rajecki also play their opening matches on Tuesday.

Canadian sixth seed Leylah Fernandez thrashed Spain's Sara Sorribes Tormo 6-1 6-1, and Russian seventh seed Anastasia Potapova is also through after beating compatriot Elina Avanesyan 6-4 6-4.

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