Coco Gauff hitting a forehand

Coco Gauff: US Open champion wins debut match at China Open

Coco Gauff hitting a forehandGauff had never played tennis in China before Monday’s match

World number three Coco Gauff beat Ekaterina Alexandrova 7-5 6-3 in her debut at the China Open.

American Gauff, 19, had not played since winning her first Grand Slam title at the US Open in September.

She extended her unbeaten run to 13, having won 19 of 20 matches since a first-round exit at Wimbledon and faces world number 48 Petra Martic next.

Elsewhere, Petra Kvitova criticised the scheduling after her 6-4 7-5 second-round loss to Liudmila Samsonova.

The Czech two-time Wimbledon champion had a late finish to her first-round match on Sunday against China’s Wang Xiyu and was back in action on Monday.

She said on X, formerly known as Twitter: “Far from ideal to finish my match at the @ChinaOpen at 1am and then be back on the schedule at NB 5:30pm the next day when some first round matches had yet to be played.

“I have always played the sport with huge respect and rarely speak out, but this time I feel strongly enough to say that there *has* to have been a fairer option. Please do better for your players @WTA.”

BBC Sport has approached the WTA for comment.

World number two Iga Swiatek reached the second round with a 6-4 6-3 win over Sara Sorribes Tormo.

In other first-round matches, fifth seed Elena Rybakina beat Qinwen Zheng 6-1 6-2 while Wimbledon finalist Ons Jabeur progressed after overcoming Ashlyn Krueger 6-3 6-4.

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