Kiki Bertens ‘feeling good again’ as she kicks off grass campaign, Aryna Sabalenka stunned

WTA Tour

Kiki Bertens returned to action on Tuesday following her French Open disappointment, dispatching Johanna Larsson with ease in the opening round of the Libema Open.

The Dutchwoman was one of the pre-tournament favourites at Roland Garros, but she was forced to retire from her second-round match due to illness.

After taking some time off, she was back in action at her home event and dropped only four games as she beat Larsson 6-3, 6-1.

“I was five days in bed [after Roland Garros], so physically it wasn’t the best preparation for grass,” Bertens told WTAtennis.com. “But I had so many days so I could still recover well, and so today there was no issue. My body is feeling good again.”

Second seed Aryna Sabalenka was sent packing by wildcard teenager Destanee Aiava with the Australian securing a 7-6 (7-3), 1-6, 6-4 win to claim her first-ever victory over a top 10 player.

“It was a really long and tough match. I knew going into the match that it was going to be a big challenge,” Aiava said.

“[Her ranking] was playing on my mind before the match. Going into it, I just wanted to go for it and not waste the wildcard that the tournament gave me. I just wanted to take this opportunity and use it.”

Third seed Elise Mertens was another first-round casualty as was beaten 6-4, 6-2 by Russian Ekaterina Alexandrova, but fourth seed Lesia Tsurenko had no such problems as she beat Kristyna Pliskova 6-4, 6-4 while the ninth-seeded Alison van Uytvanck secured a 7-6 (7-4), 6-3 win over Yafan Wang.

Meanwhile, French Open semi-finalist Amanda Anisimova pulled out of the tournament as she needs more time to recover.

“Unfortunately, I will need more rest and recovery and I will not be able to compete at my best so I’m disappointed to have to withdraw from the Libéma Open,” she said in a statement.

“This was my first visit to the Netherlands, and I hope to come back next year and play in front of the amazing fans.”

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