Serena rolls in season-opener in Brisbane

1:17 PM, Dec 31, 2013   |    comments
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Brisbane, Australia ( - World No. 1 superstar and reigning champion Serena Williams was an easy second-round winner Tuesday at the 2014 season-opening Brisbane International tennis event, a hardcourt Australian Open tune-up.

Williams had little trouble in a 6-4, 6-4 straight-set victory over former top-10 German and 2011 Brisbane runner-up Andrea Petkovic at Queensland Tennis Centre.

The reigning U.S. and French Open titlist Williams' quarterfinal opponent on Friday will be diminutive Slovak Dominika Cibulkova.

Meanwhile, fourth-seeded former No. 1 Jelena Jankovic, of Serbia, bested 19- year-old Ukrainian Elina Svitolina 6-1, 6-3.

Two other second-rounders saw Estonian Kaia Kanepi drub eighth-seeded Spaniard Carla Suarez Navarro 6-2, 6-2 and the No. 9 seed Cibulkova rally to take out 42-year-old Japanese Kimiko Date-Krumm 6-3, 1-6, 6-3. The 2012 Brisbane champion Kanepi will battle former world No. 1 Maria Sharapova in the quarters.

On Wednesday, second-seeded reigning Aussie Open champ Victoria Azarenka will take on Aussie qualifier Casey Dellacqua. Azarenka titled here in 2009 and was the Brisbane runner-up in 2008.

The third-seeded Sharapova was scheduled to meet Aussie qualifier Ashleigh Barty on Wednesday, but Barty pulled out of the match, citing a left adductor injury, thus giving Sharapova a walkover into the quarters.

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