The 13th seed Madison Keys is off to a flying start in Rome after a one-sided 6-4 6-1 victory against Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova in only 66 minutes. Keys has had a mediocre start of the season so far besides good results at the Australian Open and in Charleston and this was an important win for her, avenging a defeat to Pavlyuchenkova from Stuttgart three weeks ago.
She had the strings of the match in her hands today, saving three out of four break points and taking more than 50% of the return points to claim four breaks of serve from seven opportunities. They traded breaks in games three and four and after saving additional two break points in game five Madison took charge and dominated in the rest of the match, scoring a break in game 10 to clinch the opener 6-4.
She was untouchable in her games in set number two, dropping two points in four service games and breaking the Russian in games two and six before she closed the match with a hold at love a few minutes later. 22-year-old Anett Kontaveit has been in a fine form recently, losing to Karolina Pliskova in Stuttgart and to Petra Kvitova last week in Madrid, and she opened her Rome campaign with a textbook 6-1 6-1 win against the 12th seed CoCo Vandeweghe in 54 minutes! The Estonian has won 12 of the first 13 points to seize the control and carry the match home in own terms, outplaying her rival in every segment to finish the job in under an hour.
Last year in Madrid CoCo celebrated in two close sets but she was nowhere near that performance today, winning just nine points on the return and failing to make an impact with her initial shot as well, dropping 60% of the points and suffering five breaks of serve from six opportunities she gave to Anett.
As we already said, Kontaveit made a perfect start and she never looked back, creating a 3-1 lead before she grabbed another break in game six, clinching the opener a few minutes later after a hold. She saved a break point at the start of the second set and she charged through the rest of the match, winning the last six games and stealing CoCo's serve in games three, five and seven to book her place in the second round.
First round results: