MELBOURNE: Simona Halep skipped briskly into the second round of the Australian Open with a businesslike 6-2 6-1 demolition of local wildcard Lizette Cabrera on Monday.
The second-seeded Romanian looked in fine form as she moved her opponent around the Rod Laver Arena court apparently at will and seized her break-point opportunities with alacrity.
Cabrera, who has never won a match at her home Grand Slam in four attempts, initially froze on her country's most prestigious tennis arena and found her best game only when the result was all but certain.
Halep, a semi-finalist last year and finalist in 2018, wrapped up the contest inside an hour with a sixth break of serve and moved on to face another Australian in Ajla Tomljanovic.
(Reporting by Nick Mulvenney, editing by Ed Osmond)