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Barty makes winning start on grass

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Birmingham (United Kingdom) (AFP)

French Open champion Ashleigh Barty got her grass court season off to a winning start with a comfortable 6-3, 6-4 win over Donna Vekic at the Birmingham Classic.

Croatia's Vekic had reached the final of the Nottingham Open last weekend and understandably looked sharper on the grass early on as she broke the Barty serve in the third game.

However, the Australian, who shot to number two in the world rankings with her first Grand Slam title earlier this month, quickly recovered to win seven of the next eight games to move a set and a break up.

Barty wobbled slightly as she failed to serve out for the match at 5-2 up in the second, but made amends in her next service game to set up a round two clash with American Jennifer Brady.

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