World No. 1 Iga Shuatek made a winning return from injury as he defeated China’s Zheng Qinwen 6-1 6-4 at the Porsche Tennis Grand Prix in Stuttgart, Germany.
The Polish star has been out of the tour for more than a month after suffering a rib injury in Indian Wells, California, and took less than an hour and a half to defeat Zheng on Thursday.
Suatek, who is defending his title in Stuttgart in preparation for the French Open next month, broke Zheng’s serve four times during the match.
After cruising through the opening set, he was tested in the second but secured a crucial break to go 5-4 up before holding serve for the win.
“I’m very happy that I’m not rusty and I could perform good tennis, even though I had a break,” Suitek said after the win.
She will next face Karolina Pliskova in the quarter-finals, with the Czech former world No 1 beating Croatia’s Donna Vekic 6-2 6-7 7-6 on Thursday.
Suitek will be looking to win his third French Open title and fourth Grand Slam overall when the tournament opens in Paris on May 28.
He was forced to withdraw from the Miami Open and Billie Jean King Cup qualifiers in recent weeks but announced before competing in Stuttgart that he is now injury free.
“I felt that I needed to focus 100% from start to finish… I’m really happy that I can play here again and enjoy the whole atmosphere,” Suitek said Thursday.