Defending champion Pavlyuchenkova wins opener in Linz

LINZ, Austria (AP) " Defending champion Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova eased past Anastasija Sevastova of Latvia 6-4, 6-1 in less than an hour on Monday on the opening day of the Generali Ladies.

The fifth-seeded Russian, who improved to 4-0 against Sevastova, conceded just nine points on her serve and denied her 31st-ranked opponent any break points.

Earlier, Kiki Bertens of the Netherlands slumped to her sixth straight opening-round defeat, losing to Sorana Cirstea of Romania 6-4, 6-2.

In Bertens' first match since taking a month off, the French Open semifinalist used a break to go up 4-3 in the opening set but lost nine of the next 11 games and dropped her serve six times.

The 23rd-ranked Bertens, who was seeded sixth, has failed to win a match since reaching the final at Gstaad, Switzerland, in July.

In other first-round play, Misaki Doi of Japan beat Johanna Larsson of Sweden 7-5, 3-6, 6-1; and Viktorija Golubic of Switzerland defeated eighth-seeded Laura Siegemund of Germany 6-4, 6-2.

This story has been automatically published from the Associated Press wire which uses US spellings

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