Kvitova, Sharapova power into second round
Wimbledon champion Petra Kvitova powered into the second round of the Australian Open on Tuesday as Russia's Maria Sharapova also won her first match with ease.
After going 2-0 down at the start of the match, Kvitova won 12 straight games to sweep aside Russia's Vera Dushevina in straight sets 6-2, 6-0 in 71 minutes. The Czech left-hander dropped her first service game but once she found her range there was nothing Dushevina could do to stop the onslaught.
Petra Kvitova at Australian Open 2012. Pic/AFP.
Kvitova, 21, who reached the quarter-finals in Melbourne last year, broke the Russian three times in each set and faced only two break points on her own serve, underlining her dominance.
"After a slow beginning it was fine," Kvitova said. "You know, it looks easy, the score, but it wasn't. The games, some were very close and I'm glad that I'm through." Kvitova now goes on to play Carla Suarez Navarro after the tricky Spaniard beat Romania's Irina-Camelia Begu 6-1, 7-5.
Former champion Sharapova demolished Argentina's Gisela Dulko 6-0, 6-1 in less than an hour. Sharapova, who won the title in 2008, was at her ruthless best as she overpowered the Argentine in stifling conditions.
Maria Sharapova at Australian Open 2012. Pic/AFP.
It was an impressive display by Sharapova against a player who was once ranked as high as 26 in the world.
The Russian fourth seed also showed no signs of a left ankle injury that forced her to withdraw from the Brisbane International two weeks ago. Sharapova claimed the first set in just 25 minutes and didn't lose a game until 2-0 in the second set, when her serve temporarily deserted her. But she quickly recovered to break straight back and run away with the match.
"I knew I had a tough opponent today," a delighted Sharapova said afterwards. "I focused on every point and took her time away -- she's a player who loves time on the ball." Sharapova has a relatively easy passage into the third round with her next opponent US qualifier Jamie Hampton.
German 14th seed Sabine Lisicki survived a scare from Swiss qualifier Stefanie Voegele to win 6-2, 4-6, 6-4, while Slovakia's 17th seed Dominika Cibulkova thumped fellow countrywoman Magdalena Rybarikova 6-3, 6-1.
Two seeded Russians also progressed. Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova (15) downed Czech Klara Zakopalova 7-6 (7/5), 6-1 and Maria Kirilenko (27) beat Australia's Jarmila Gajdosova 6-4, 6-2.
Elsewhere, Israel's Shahar Peer was a 6-2, 6-0 winner over Isabella Holland of Australia, Canadian Alexsandra Wozniak beat China's Zhang Shuai 6-3, 6-3 and Vania King of the US downed Ukraine's Kateryna Bondarenko 7-6 (7/3), 6-3.