Tenth-seeded American Madison Keys, playing just her third match of 2021, rolled to a 6-1, 6-1 win over Taiwan’s En-Shuo Liang on Monday in the first round of the Dubai (United Arab Emirates) Duty Free Championships.
Keys hadn’t played since the 2020 French Open before returning to reach the second round in Doha, Qatar, last week. She missed last month’s Australian Open after testing positive for COVID-19.
On Monday, Keys dominated the key moments, saving all seven break points on her serve and taking advantage of five of her six break opportunities.
Other first-round winners included ninth-seeded Garbine Muguruza of Spain, 10th-seeded Elise Mertens of Belgium, 12th-seeded Marketa Vondrousova of the Czech Republic, 14th-seeded Elena Rybakina of Kazakhstan and 15th-seeded Anett Kontaveit of Estonia. France’s Kristina Mladenovic upset 13th-seeded Petra Martic of Croatia.
Slovakia’s Anna Karolina Schmiedlova upset fifth-seeded Nao Hibino of Japan 6-1, 7-5 in the opening round at Guadalajara, Mexico.
Schmiedlova won 61 percent of the points on Hibino’s serve, including 11 of 18 break points. Schmiedlova also recorded the match’s only ace.
Sixth-seeded Danka Kovinic of Montenegro, the United States’ Lauren Davis, Romania’s Mihaela Buzarnescu, Italy’s Elisabetta Cocciaretto, Australia’s Astra Sharma and Mexico’s Renata Zarazua also advanced.
Second-seeded Marie Bouzkova of the Czech Republic edged Romania’s Irina Bara 6-3, 2-6, 6-3 in a match that ended after 1 a.m. local time.
–Field Level Media