Emma Raducanu admitted it felt “really good” to chalk up her first win of the North American hard-court season, beating Louisa Chirico 6-4, 6-2 at the Citi Open in Washington.
The US Open champion started her DC debut slowly but came to terms with humid conditions and pulled out some impressive ground strokes on the way to victory in 87 minutes.
American qualifier Chirico came undone with 42 unforced errors to Raducanu’s 18, while the British world No 10 won 76 per cent of her first and second serves.
Second seed Raducanu broke Chirico’s serve to take a 3-2 lead in the second set and closed out the match from there.
Raducanu, who will face Camila Osorio in the second round, was satisfied with her win. “It definitely feels really good to get a win here in D.C.,” she said.
“After not playing for quite a bit after Wimbledon or many matches at all this year, I think it’s a really nice feeling just to get on the board.
“I think playing any first round is always pretty challenging. Then when you’re not necessarily that match-sharp, small things you don’t necessarily get right. It’s just important to stay calm.”
Her next opponent Osorio was bundled out by Harriet Dart in the first round in Birmingham in June, after the 67th-ranked Colombian defeated returning-from-injury former Australian Open champion Sofia Kenin in straight sets.
Raducanu’s singles win came one day after after her professional doubles debut alongside fellow teenager Clara Tauson ended with a straight-sets loss in the US capital.
Earlier Dan Evans secured his place in the third round with a straight-sets victory over fellow Briton Kyle Edmund.
The 32-year-old 16th seed made short work of dispensing with an opponent working his way back from a lengthy injury lay-off to win 6-1 6-2 in a little more than an hour in Washington.
He will now face either America’s Taylor Fritz or Australian Alexei Popyrin in the next round