No.1 seed Ashleigh Barty offered a dominant a display of classic tennis to defeat Stefanie Voegele 6-3, 6-3 in the first round of the Nature Valley Open. The Australian, two-time quarterfinalist here in the last two years, came off a three-set defeat against Serena Williams at Roland Garros.
Barty, who won here in 2012 when the tournament was an ITF $50,000 event, was totally dominant on serve winning 94% of second serve points in the match. Voegele, bidding for her maiden win on grass since 2014, lost to the Italian Elena Camerin in the title-match here during the ITF era in 2009.
The Swiss, however, struggled to be consistent enough on serve from the ad side against the Australian, particularly aggressive on return against her weaker second deliveries. Barty was even able to raise her level in the second set.
In the final game, Voegele surrendered after a missed volley and a massive pass, before hitting her third double fault of the day on Barty's third match point. The No.17 will meet for the first time Duan Yingying, aiming to clinch the second win in the last 10 matches against a Top 20 opponent.
British number two Heather Watson, who began her grass court season with a surprise defeat in Surbiton, moved into the second round with a 6-1 6-3 win against American Danielle Lao, ranked No.252. A tearful Zarina Diyas, after forcing Sam Stosur to deuce in her first two service games, took a nasty fall in the fourth game and was forced to retire. She needed to be assisted off court.