China's Qinwen Zheng raises a fist during the Porsche Tennis...

China's Qinwen Zheng raises a fist during the Porsche Tennis Grand Prix WTA tennis tournament in Stuttgart, Germany, Tuesday, April 16, 2024. Credit: AP/Marijan Murat

STUTTGART, Germany — Zheng Qinwen eased past Sorana Cîrstea 6-2, 6-3 in the first round of the Porsche Grand Prix on Tuesday despite a long journey from China to reach the clay-court tournament.

The seventh-ranked Zheng traveled from Changsha to Beijing and then on to Frankfurt before a final leg to Stuttgart, but showed little sign of jet lag as she wrapped up her win in 76 minutes.

Zheng will play either Marta Kostyuk or former champion Laura Siegemund in the second round.

Belgium’s Elise Mertens finished strongly to beat Tatjana Maria 6-1, 4-6, 6-0 to set up a match against two-time defending champion Iga Świątek in the second round. Świątek is bidding to become the first three-time champion in Stuttgart since Maria Sharapova won between 2012-14.

Wimbledon champion Markéta Vondroušová defeated Donna Vekić 6-4, 6-3 and will next face a Russian opponent — either Liudmila Samsonova or Anastasia Potapova — in the second round.

Earlier, Jasmine Paolini opened with an emphatic win, beating Italian compatriot and doubles partner Sara Errani 6-1, 6-0 in just 46 minutes.

Paolini awaits the winner between Ekaterina Alexandrova and Ons Jabeur.

China's Qinwen Zheng returns the ball to Romania's Sorana Cristea...

China's Qinwen Zheng returns the ball to Romania's Sorana Cristea during the Porsche Tennis Grand Prix WTA tennis tournament in Stuttgart, Germany, Tuesday, April 16, 2024. Credit: AP/Marijan Murat

Czech teenager Linda Noskova upset the 10th-ranked Jeļena Ostapenko 6-3, 6-1 for her third top-10 win this year. The 19-year-old Noskova next plays either Emma Raducanu or home favorite Angelique Kerber.

Eight of the top-10 ranked women are playing at the tournament.

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