In-form Schiavone dumps out Babos in Rabat

Francesca Schiavone carried on where she left off in Botago by beating fourth seed Timea Babos in the first round of the Grand Prix De SAR La Princesse Lalla Meryem on Monday.

Schiavone claimed the eighth WTA singles title of her career at the Claro Open Colsanitas last month and the veteran Italian maintained her momentum by seeing off Babos 6-4 6-1 in Rabat.

The 36-year-old from Milan won 69 per cent of points on her first serve and broke serve three times in each set to see off the Hungarian, who is ranked 66 places above Schiavone.

Schiavone will face Lina Qostal or Gabriela Dabrowski in the second round on the clay as the 2010 French Open champion eyes back-to-back titles.

Fifth seed Yulia Putintseva won 6-3 6-4 against Andrea Petkovic to set up a meeting with Varvara Lepchenko, who defeated Kirsten Flipkens 6-3 1-6 6-3.

Alison Riske, the eighth seed, wasted little time in ousting Alize Cornet 6-2 6-4 and will now face Sara Errani - conqueror of wildcard Anna Blinkova. Ekaterina Makarova was also a first-round winner.

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