Dubai champion Belinda Bencic off to strong start in Charleston

Belinda Bencic fist pump

Belinda Bencic made a smooth transition to clay as she brushed aside Destanee Aiava in the opening round of the Volvo Car Open in Charleston.

The ninth seed, who has enjoyed a good start to 2019 as she won the Dubai Duty Free Championships and reached the semi-final of the Indian Wells Masters, secured a comfortable 6-3, 6-0 win over the Australian qualifier.

The 22-year-old Swiss will face Alexandra Kiick in the second round after the American beat Pauline Parmentier from France with a similar scoreline.

Former French Open champion Jelena Ostapenko also got her clay-court season off to a good start as she beat Johanna Larsson 6-1, 6-4 to set up a clash against Shelby Rogers, who was a 6-4, 6-2 winner over Evgeniya Rodina.

The 13th seeded Sofia Kenin also advanced with a 7-5, 6-4 win over Sabine Lisicki while 14th seed Ajla Tomljanovic defeated Magda Linette 6-2, 7-6 (9-7).

Sloane Stephens is the top seed and she will take on Sara Sorribes in the second round after the Spaniard beat Fanny Stollar 6-0, 6-3.

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