ROME, Italy – Garbiñe Muguruza opened a busy day at the Internazionali BNL d’Italia with a hard-fought 6-4, 4-6, 6-2 second-round win over Danielle Collins, triumphing in the all-unseeded affair in two hours and 10 minutes.

In contrast to yesterday’s washout, Thursday’s packed schedule opened with blue skies, which pleased the two-time semifinalist, who said: “We always want to play with sun – brings good energy.” That was certainly the case as she withstood a second-set fightback from Collins to accelerate to victiry.

“Yes, I was just keeping composed,” Muguruza said afterwards. “I was playing well. She came up and won the second set. I knew I was on the right path. In the third set I kept doing the same thing and it worked better.”

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The first meeting between two 25-year-olds was an intriguing claycourt clash. Although both players center their games around baseline power, red clay has historically been a happy hunting ground for Muguruza, the 2016 Roland Garros champion, while Collins is a relative novice on it: Rome is just the American’s eighth tournament on the European terre battue, and she scored only her third career main draw win on it with No.10 seed Caroline Wozniacki’s first-round retirement this week.

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