Muguruza wins as top 4 seeds advance to 2nd round in Morocco

MARRAKECH, Morocco (AP) Top-seeded Garbine Muguruza of Spain and No. 2 Timea Bacsinszky of Switzerland won in straight sets to reach the second round of the Grand Prix SAR clay-court tournament on Tuesday.

Muguruza, a semifinalist last year, saved all three break points she faced in a 6-4, 6-1 win over Daria Kasatkina, breaking the Russian player’s serve four times. She next faces France’s Kristina Mladenovic.

Bacsinszky, who has had a breakthrough start to the year, had five aces in a 6-3, 7-5 win against Russia’s Evgeniya Rodina to improve to 24-3 overall. Her next opponent is Germany’s Tatjana Maria.

Hungary’s Timea Babos upset fifth-seeded Mona Barthel of Germany 6-4, 6-0.

Third-seeded Flavia Pannetta, No. 4 Elina Svitolina, No. 6 Roberta Vinci and No. 8 Monica Puig all advanced to the second round.

Pennetta dropped her serve three times but broke Serbian player Bojana Jovanovski’s serve seven times in an error-strewn match featuring seven double faults.

Svitolina advanced by beating Croatia’s Donna Vekic 6-2, 6-2; Vinci won 6-2, 6-3 against Urszula Radwanska of Poland; while Puig beat Belgian player Alison Van Uytvanck 6-0, 7-6 (3).

Germany’s Laura Siegemund; Brazilian Teliana Pereira; Italy’s Karin Knapp; American player Christina McHale; Argentina’s Maria Irigoyen – as well as Mladenovic and Maria – all won their first-round matches Tuesday.