Australian Open champion Sofia Kenin eased into the last 16 of the Lyon Open on Wednesday, but Alize Cornet let a lead slip to crash out.

Kenin is the top seed in France this week and belatedly secured her first WTA Tour victory since a major breakthrough in Melbourne.

The American had fallen at the first hurdle in both Qatar and Dubai in recent weeks, but she had no such troubles against Vitalia Diatchenko, advancing 6-4 6-3.

A pair of early breaks in the opener saw Kenin into a 4-1 lead, although opportunities for both players punctuated the contest.

The second set began with three straight games going against the serve, before Kenin settled the match at the second attempt with her sixth successful break point from 18 attempts.

Back on the winning trail, Kenin levelled her career record against Diatchenko at 1-1 after a second-round defeat at Wimbledon in 2018.

The only other round-of-32 clash on Wednesday saw France's Oceane Dodin overcome Mandy Minella in straight sets.

Meanwhile, Kenin's fellow seeds Caroline Garcia - a 7-5 6-2 winner against Ysaline Bonaventure - and Alison Van Uytvanck - triumphing over Viktoriya Tomova - enjoyed victories as they played last-16 matches.

But home hopeful Cornet fell short of the quarter-finals in a 4-6 7-6 (7-5) 6-2 reverse at the hands of Camila Giorgi.

Cornet led by a mini-break three times in the second-set tie-break, before Giorgi edged her opponent out and then dominated the decider.

Caroline Garcia produced a final-set fightback to beat Greet Minnen and join compatriot Alize Cornet in the second round of the inaugural Lyon Open on Monday.

Garcia has made a poor start to the season and was in danger of falling at the first hurdle in the city where she resides, but fought back to win 6-4 1-6 7-6 (7-5).

The third seed trailed Belgian outsider Minnen 4-2 in the deciding set before pulling herself off the ropes to book a meeting with Ysaline Bonaventure.

Cornet's passage into the second round proved to be much more straightforward, defeating 162-ranked German Antonia Lottner 7-5 6-0.

The fourth seed grasped six of eight break-point opportunities and served a dozen aces to sail through.

Alison Van Uytvanck, the fifth seed, needed just an hour to defeat Katarzyna Kawa 6-1 6-3, while Anna-Lena Friedsam and Irina Bara also advanced.

Jaqueline Cristian could face Australian Open champion Sofia Kenin after losing just two games in a thrashing of Priscilla Hon.

 

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