LONDON (Reuters) – Last year’s Wimbledon runner-up Ons Jabeur made a solid start to her bid to capture a maiden Grand Slam title as the world number six eased past unseeded Pole Magdalena Frech 6-3 6-3 on Tuesday to reach the second round.

Tunisia’s Jabeur has struggled to build momentum during an injury-hit season and her preparation for the grasscourt major was far from ideal with early losses in Berlin and Eastbourne, but the sixth seed showed her calibre against Frech.

After narrowly missing the opportunity to break the 70th-ranked Frech early with two wayward drop shots, Jabeur got her nose in front in the fifth game thanks to clean hitting and she raced through the opening set.

The 28-year-old, outclassed by Elena Rybakina in the title clash last year, moved with ease and displayed a stunning range of strokes that included drops, lobs and scoops to overwhelm Frech and go 3-1 up in the next set.

Frech grabbed a break against the run of play before drawing level but Jabeur, who needed three sets to overcome the 25-year-old at Indian Wells this year, ensured there would be no late drama under the Court One roof.

Jabeur restored her advantage as Frech sent a shot long and closed out the contest on serve to set up a meeting with either unseeded Belgian Ysaline Bonaventure or Chinese qualifier Bai Zhuoxuan.

(Reporting by Shrivathsa Sridhar in Bengaluru, editing by Ed Osmond)

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