French Open: Ana Konjuh cruises into second round with easy win over Arina Rodionova
Konjuh with a fist pump. Christopher Levy/AP

French Open: Ana Konjuh cruises into second round with easy win over Arina Rodionova

The Croat was sharp and precise in knocking the Aussie out. She advances to the second round in two days time.

john-lupo
John Lupo

Ana Konjuh routed Arina Rodionova to progress to the round of 64 at the  French Open.

Konjuh jumps out early, wins first set in a breeze

The Croat is playing her first match under new coach Jelena Kostanic Tosic and she was on the front foot immediately, breaking the 237th ranked Aussie in the opening game of the match. Konjuh has a powerful serve and Rodionova was powerless to do much with it, winning just six points in the first set off the Nottingham champion's first delivery. Konjuh's dominance was asserted when she grabbed a second break at 3-1 ahead, a Rodionova error confirmation that this was one-way traffic. The set was wrapped up in tidy fashion at 5-2 when Konjuh belted a backhand past her helpless opponent, the opening frame lasting just 27 minutes.

Ana Konjuh earlier this year in Rome/Dennis Grombkowski/Getty Images
Ana Konjuh earlier this year in Rome/Dennis Grombkowski/Getty Images

Konjuh wins tighter second set, advances to set up Cibulkova clash

Rodionova entered Paris as a wild card into the main draw and her struggles continued, having to save two break points in her opening service game, holding in an 11-point affair. Now holding more comfortably, Rodionova was still unable to make any inroads on Konjuh's serve, as in the first set, only able to win six points. At 3-all, the Aussie cracked, double-faulting to hand the Croat what turned out to be the decisive break and assume a 4-3 lead. After a comfortable hold, Konjuh closed the match out in style, breaking Rodionova at love to claim the 2nd set 6-3 in 37 minutes to wrap up a comprehensive win and advance to the second round.

Konjuh efficient, opportunistic in win

Unforced errors can sometimes creep too much into the Croat's game, but she was very controlled, hitting 32 winners to 29 errors while also converting on four of her eight break points. Rodionova won just 12 points on Konjuh's serve in the match and did not see a break point as Konjuh's serve was clicking, winning 32 of her 44 points. Not known for her net play, Konjuh was sparkling 13 of 17 when she came in. The Croat also won more first serve return points(19) than Rodionova did overall(12). Konjuh can take comfort that her second round Grand Slam nemesis, Daria Kasatkina, will not be awaiting her for a third straight round of 64 matchup at a major, having defeated the Croat at last year's U.S. Open and this year's Australian Open.

Cibulkova next

Konjuh will square off with 22nd seed Dominika Cibulkova of Slovakia in the second round. The 2010 semifinalist saw off China's Saisai Zheng in routine fashion, winning by a count of 6-3, 6-1. The two players have never faced each other before.

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