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Muguruza beats Begu in Dubai round 1; Keys through

Dubai Duty Free Tennis - Day Two

DUBAI, UNITED ARAB EMIRATES - MARCH 08: Garbine Muguruza of Spain plays a backhand in her singles match against Irina-Camelia Begu of Romania during Day Two of the Dubai Duty Free Tennis at Dubai Duty Free Tennis Stadium on March 08, 2021 in Dubai, United Arab Emirates. (Photo by Francois Nel/Getty Images)

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DUBAI, United Arab Emirates -- Garbine Muguruza bounced back from her loss in the Qatar Open final with a win over Irina-Camelia Begu in the first round at the Dubai Championships, as Madison Keys and Elise Mertens also progressed.

Seeded ninth, Muguruza won 6-3, 7-5 after twice coming back from a break down in the second set and sealing the win with a four-game streak.

Muguruza was playing two days after a straight-sets loss to Petra Kvitova in the Qatar final. “It was tough because I arrived yesterday, so it was just fighting spirit,” Muguruza said. “Just trying to adapt as fast I can.”

Her second-round opponent is Amanda Anisimova after the U.S. player beat Ana Konjuh 6-2, 6-2. It was Anisimova’s return to the court after she hurt her ankle in a fall and withdrew from the Qatar Open.

Keys beat Liang En-Shuo 6-1, 6-1 and held serve throughout. It was only Keys’ third match this year after she missed the Australian Open following a positive test for the coronavirus. Keys faces Anastasia Potapova in the second round.

Elise Mertens needed 2 1/2 hours to beat Viktoriya Tomova 4-6, 6-2, 6-4 despite 51 unforced errors and eight double faults. Tomova was a late replacement for Fiona Ferro, who withdrew citing fatigue after a run to the semifinals of the Lyon Open last week.

Marketa Vondrousova will play Coco Gauff in the second round after the Czech player saw off Ana Bogdan 6-4, 6-4.

Caroline Garcia upset Angelique Kerber 3-6, 6-2, 6-4.

Victoria Azarenka withdrew from the tournament on Monday after struggling with a back injury she picked up at the Qatar Open.