DV started off her new season in fine fashion.
She beat Rus 6-1, 6-2 to advance to the second round in Palermo. DV plays Cocciaretto in her next match.
"I'm definitely a little bit surprised, especially because it was really tricky conditions," DV said. "It was very windy. So the ball was spinning a lot, was a little bit all over the court. But I'm definitely happy that I didn't forget how to play tennis, how to play matches, how to win. It's a huge relief. So I'm really happy right now."
DV had four aces and 4 DF's. She served at 56 percent first serves. She won 77 percent of her first serves and 46 percent on second serves. She was 6-for-13 on break points. She won 8 games in a row at one point and 9 points in a row at one point. She saved 3 of-4 break points.
"Physically I'm probably more ready than ever. I'm really impressed with my runnings today. I have to look at that one point with the drop shot that I got - that was crazy. I thought I was moving really well. We did a couple of really tough weeks in Monaco, so I was definitely expecting to be fit. Tennis-wise I've been also practicing great, but you literally haven't played a match in five months and it's the first time for me, because I've never had like a big injury. So I really didn't know what to expect and he was like don't expect to play perfect, to fight every point and just try to be competitive and do your thing."
DV actually trailed 1-0 in the first set, before winning the last six games. She raced out to a 2-0 lead in the opening set and cruised to the one-hour 17-minute victory.
"I really enjoyed playing clay the last couple of years. Clay and I were not such good friends before that. The last couple of years it's been a lot better. I've been practicing on clay through this whole period, because in Croatia we have more clay courts than hard courts. So I grew up playing on clay as well. But I don't think that made a huge difference today because in my mind I wanted to play just this tournament to get a couple matches, but then we're back on hard, back on clay. The surface change is not really a huge problem for me the last couple of years, which is great."
Great job DV! Let's get this title!