Heather Watson
Watson will face Simona Halep in round two.

Heather Watson breezed into round two of the French Open after defeating world No.63 Barbora Zahlavova-Strycova in Paris.

Watson prevailed 6-3 6-4 to equal her best performance in the French capital with a performance which evoked memories of her run to the world's top 50.

The British No.2 will face No.4 seed Simona Halep in the second round after her first grand slam victory since the 2013 Australian Open.

After beating Estonian Anett Kontaveit to reach the main draw, Watson was intent on taking her chance in Paris with both hands and stormed into the ascendency with an early break.

Zahlavova-Strycova was struggling to discover any rhythm as she went in search of a career-equalling best finish at the French Open, after her second round appearance in 2004, but was handed a way back into the opening set after Watson touched the net on game point and allowed the Czech to break back.

The Brit didn't allow the error to damage her confidence and her punishing baseline approach saw her clinch the opening set 6-3.

And an early break at the start of the second set after a string of thumping ground-stokes helped Watson, the former world No.39, put one foot in the next round.

Though Watson consolidated the break the ebb and flow nature of the contest on a windy court six naturally saw Zahlavova-Strycova stage a comeback with a cluster of deft drop shots which saw her rattle off the next three games.

The frustration shown by Zahlavova-Strycova in the first set returned mid-way through the second and her loss of concentration saw Watson snatch the decisive initiative and broke to lead 4-3.

Once in command again Watson refused to relinquish the advantage and despite having two match points saved, she converted the third in nerveless fashion to set up a third meeting with Romanian Halep.