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LONDON (Reuters) – Second seed Aryna Sabalenka struck a barrage winners to blitz past Romanian qualifier Monica Niculescu 6-1 6-4 on Monday and reach the second round of Wimbledon.

With persistent rain preventing play on the outside courts, the Belarusian kicked off the Championships under the closed roof on Court One and set the green grass on fire with her aggressive tennis.

The 23-year-old Sabalenka, 10 years younger than 191st-ranked Niculescu, produced winners at will off both her forehand and backhand to leave Niculescu powerless and rooted to the baseline for most of the match.

Sabalenka, who hit 47 winners to the eight managed by her opponent, faced problems with her serve in the second set and was broken twice before sealing victory in 75 minutes with a crushing forehand down the line.

She will take on either American qualifier Danielle Lao or British wildcard Katie Boulter in the second round.

(Reporting by Sudipto Ganguly in Mumbai; editing by Ed Osmond)