World-number-four Aryna Sabalenka dominated Monica Niculescu to reach round two at Wimbledon on the opening day of the 2021 Championships yesterday.
The Belarusian – number two seed in the Women’s draw – took 29 minutes to seal set one and closed out a 6-1, 6-4 win.
Niculescu – world number 191 – drew support from the Wimbledon crowd in the face of a relentless early onslaught.
But Sabalenka repeatedly punished the serve of her rival and saw off the threat of a second-set fight back.
In all, Romania’s Niculescu won just 39 percent of points on her first serve. She briefly showed belief when she recovered to 4-3 down in the second set but a 119mph ace from Sabalenka in the next game summed up the decisive power she showed from the off.