Samantha Stosur’s Strasbourg International title defence is off to the perfect with a straight sets win over American qualifier Lauren Davis.
While top-seeded Sara Errani was dealt another setback in her French Open preparations with a first round 4-6 6-3 6-1 loss to Puerto Rico’s Monica Puig, it was far more routine for third-seeded Stosur as she prevailed 6-3 7-5.
Stosur will next play Su-Wei Hsieh in the second round after the world No.83 beat Yi-Fan Xu 6-3 6-1.
Helping Stosur’s bid to defend her title is the early exit of Errani, who loomed as a potential quarter-final opponent for the Aussie.
Instead, Errani lost in the opening round for the third straight tournament.
The poor run had prompted the Italian, who won in Dubai in February, to seek and receive a wild card into Strasbourg to try her confidence for the French Open starting on Sunday.
Since Errani lost the 2012 French Open final to Maria Sharapova, she has reached the semi-finals once and quarter-finals twice.
Elsewhere, eighth-seeded Timea Babos of Hungary beat Olga Govortsova of Belarus 6-4 6-1, while the match between second-seeded Sloane Stephens and Donna Vekic was suspended because of darkness at one set all.
Three French were among the winners, including Caroline Garcia, wild card Pauline Parmentier, and lucky loser Virginie Razzano.