Dominika Cibulkova beat Turkish qualifier Pemra Ozgen 6-1, 6-3 in the first round of the BMW Malaysian Open. – S.S. Kanesan / THE STAR
PETALING JAYA: Top seed Dominika Cibulkova was the last player to compete in the first round of the BMW Malaysian Open.
But that did not stop the Slovak, playing for the first time as the world No. 10 – her highest ever career ranking – from cruising to a 6-1, 6-3 win over Turkish qualifier Pemra Ozgen at the Royal Selangor Golf Club (RSGC) on Wednesday.
Cibulkova, who is the sole marquee name at this year’s Malaysian Open, was the only one yet to take to the courts when the rest of the 32-draw field had completed their round on Tuesday.
And the Australian Open runner-up showed just how eager she was to be finally in the thick of the action as she thoroughly dominated Ozgen for the win.
“I think it was quite a good match as I didn’t let her play at all, especially in the first set,” said Cibulkova.
“Although I was the last to play in the first round, I wasn’t nervous at all ... I was focused on the match.
“I changed my racquet in the second set because the string’s tension was not good and I made a few mistakes.
“Still, I’m happy with the way I played ... aggressive and not giving my opponent much chance at the net.”
Cibulkova will meet 2012 champion Hsieh Su-wei of Taiwan in the second round.
In another singles match, sixth seed Zarina Dyas of Kazakhstan turned on the power to cruise past Italian surprise package Giulia Gatto-Monticone 6-1, 6-4 in an hour and 11 minutes in the second round.
The beautiful 20-year-old Zarina spent much of her childhood in Prague, Czech Republic, and has been training in Guangzhou for the past year.
“It was a tough match despite the scoreline as we were playing under tough conditions,” said Zarina.
“She’s been playing some good tennis here too, so I’m happy with my win and making the quarter-finals.
“I’m also happy that my match was an early one ... just before it rained as now I’ll have more time to rest,” added Zarina, who will face the winner of the match between Cibulkova and Su-wei on Friday.