Garbine Muguruza began her Internazionali BNL d’Italia campaign with an impressive win over Sloane Stephens in a battle of former Grand Slam champions.

Muguruza saw off the American in a 6-3, 6-3 win and had to also battle with the conditions with a rain delay occurring in the tie but came back to win strongly to set up a tie with Coco Gauff next.

“It was a very tough first round,” Muguruza said. “I think I played well and I had the right game plan today against her. You never know how it’s going to go because it’s been a while since I’ve played, and it’s my first match on clay, and the conditions were difficult.

“Despite all of that, I still managed to play at a high level and stay solid throughout the match.”

“It was unexpected, because I checked the weather and it seemed like it was okay,” said the Spaniard on the rain delay. “But I just had to adapt. I knew I had a tough match against Sloane, she’s also a great player on clay.

“I’m just happy with my performance, since this is the third match I am able to play in a long time.”

On her next tie against Gauff, it is one she is looking forward to given all the hype around the young American: “It’s a good match, I’ve never played against her. I’m looking forward to playing as many matches as possible. She’s playing great and she’s having a big breakthrough, so I’m looking forward to it.”

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Author: Samuel Gill