Reigning US Open champion Emma Raducanu kicked off her return to the North American swing with a 6-4 6-2 victory over Louisa Chirico in the first round of the Citi Open in Washington D.C.
The No. 2 seed, who stunned the world last year to claim her first-ever Grand Slam at Flushing Meadows as a qualifier, took an hour and 27 minutes to defeat the American qualifier.
Raducanu is looking at the hard courts to get back to winning ways after an indifferent 2022 campaign that has seen her exit the second rounds of both the Australian Open and Wimbledon, and reaching the quarter-final of just one WTA 500 event in Stuttgart back in April.
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She set her stall out early by converting a second break point in the opening game to seize an early advantage.
However, after missing the chance for a double break again for 3-0, she soon found herself level at 3-3 after losing her serve.
The Brit then stepped it up again in the ninth game to break again before serving out the set to love.
Both players failed to convert break points at the start of the second set as the match stayed on serve until the fifth game when Raducanu finally broke at the third time of asking.
The 19-year-old was then in cruise control taking the next three games, including two love-hold service games, for victory.
"Definitely feels really good to get a win here in D.C.," Raducanu said afterwards. "And after not playing for quite a bit after Wimbledon or many matches at all this year, I think it's a really nice feeling just to get on the board.
"I think playing any first round is always pretty challenging. Then when you're not necessarily that match-sharp, small things you don't necessarily get right. It's just important to stay calm."
She now faces Colombia's Camila Osorio in the second round.
Elsewhere, another former US Open champion Sloane Stephens was beaten 6-1 6-4 by Ajla Tomljanovic while Victoria Azarenka was a 6-4 6-0 victor over Dayana Yastremska.
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