Zheng eases past Cirstea in Stuttgart opener after long trip from China

China's Qinwen Zheng returns the ball to Romania's Sorana Cristea during the Porsche Tennis Grand Prix WTA tennis tournament in Stuttgart, Germany, Tuesday, April 16, 2024. (Marijan Murat/dpa via AP)

STUTTGART, Germany — Zheng Qinwen eased past Sorana Cîrstea 6-2, 6-3 in the first round of the Porsche Grand Prix on Tuesday despite a long journey from China to reach the clay-court tournament.

The seventh-ranked Zheng travelled from Changsha to Beijing and then on to Frankfurt before a final leg to Stuttgart, but showed little sign of jet lag as she wrapped up her win in 76 minutes.

Zheng will play either Marta Kostyuk or former champion Laura Siegemund in the second round.

Jasmine Paolini also opened with an emphatic win, beating Italian compatriot and doubles partner Sara Errani 6-1, 6-0 in just 46 minutes.

Paolini awaits the winner between Ekaterina Alexandrova and Ons Jabeur.

Wimbledon champion Marketa Vondrousova was to play Donna Vekic later Tuesday, while Linda Noskova faced Jeļena Ostapenko.

Tatjana Maria faced Elise Mertens for the right to take on two-time defending champion Iga Świątek in the second round. The Pole is bidding to become the first three-time champion in Stuttgart since Maria Sharapova won between 2012-14.

Eight of the top-10 ranked women are playing at the tournament.

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