World number 21 and the 10th seed herein Charleston Naomi Oksaka has made a winning start after a 6-4 6-4 triumph against Jennifer Brady in an hour and 23 minutes. This was their first meeting on the Tour since 2014 when Brady won by the exact same scoreline, unable to repeat that today.
Naomi played a solid match, making a nice transition from hard courts to Har-Tru clay and she kept everything under control after a slow start, losing serve just once and breaking the American on three occasions to seal the deal in straight sets.
Brady served at only 44% and despite a good performance behind her first serve it wasn't enough to give her the more positive result, trailing since the middle of the opening set. Jennifer was off to a flying start, winning eight out of the first 10 points to create a 2-0 gap but Naomi broke back in the very next game, reducing the deficit to 2-1 and saving another break point in game four to avoid another setback.
The Japanese served well in the rest of the set and she earned a break in game seven to bring the set home on own serve at 5-4. The second set was decided in the very first game after Broady wasted three game points to get broken, finding herself a set and a break down.
Osaka was rock solid and this lone break was everything she needed to cross the finish line and reach the second round, losing five points in five service games and sealing the deal with a service winner in game 10 for the place in the second round.
2014 finalist Jana Cepelova has suffered an early exit, losing to Bernarda Pera 6-2 6-2 in 70 minutes. 23-year-old Pera served at 70% and she kept her service games under control with comfort, losing 14 points in eight service games and getting broken once from two chances she gave to Cepelova.
On the other hand, the Slovakian never found a rhythm behind her shots and she had to give away 53% of the points in her games facing 10 break points and losing serve five times to hit the exit door in the first round. Bernarda won the opening 10 points of the match which set the tone for the rest of the encounter, serving well and outplaying her rival from the baseline to gain the full control over the scoreboard.
She broke Jana again in game seven for a 5-2, closing the opening set with a hold at 30 a few minutes later. The American who has Croatian origins was even stronger in set number two, racing into a 4-0 lead after a double break in games one and three.
Cepelova did manage to pull one break back in game six but she couldn't stay on the similar path, dropping serve again in game seven and allowing Pera to clinch the win with a hold at love at 5-2 for the place in the second round. First round results: