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…