Sharapova, Kerber win Paris openers

3:07 PM, Jan 29, 2014   |    comments
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Paris, France (SportsNetwork.com) - Maria Sharapova and Angelique Kerber were among the second-round winners Wednesday at the GDF Suez Open in Paris.

The top-seeded Sharapova needed just 70 minutes to dispose of Slovakia's Daniela Hantuchova in a 6-0, 6-1 rout, while the fourth-seeded Kerber posted a 6-2, 7-5 triumph over Klara Zakopalova of the Czech Republic.

Both seeded players had first-round byes.

Sharapova, coming off a fourth-round loss at the Australian Open, served up 10 aces and won the first eight games en route to her ninth win in 10 all-time meetings with Hantuchova.

"I had a tough first opponent who can play extremely good tennis," said Sharapova. "I wanted to start the match off well. It was extremely important to put that pressure on her from the beginning."

Kerber, also a fourth-round loser in Melbourne, won this event in 2012. She had a little trouble trying to close out the second set, but still prevailed and advanced to a quarterfinal matchup with Russian Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova, a 6-2, 3-6, 6-3 winner over seventh-seeded Spaniard Carla Suarez Navarro.

First-round play also concluded Wednesday with wins for Kirsten Flipkens, Elina Svitolina, Galina Voskoboeva and Kristina Mladenovic.

The eighth-seeded Flipkens earned a 6-3, 4-6, 6-2 victory over Germany's Mona Barthel, the 2013 champion, and will next play Austria's Yvonne Meusburger in the second round, while Svitolina knocked off sixth-seeded Italian Roberta Vinci, 6-3, 0-6, 7-5.

Voskoboeva, a qualifier from Kazakhstan, rallied for a 5-7, 7-5, 7-6 (7-3) win over Switzerland's Stefanie Voegele and will next meet Svitolina. Mladenovic notched a 7-6 (7-1), 6-4 triumph over fifth-seeded Simona Halep of Romania to set up a second-round match with Germany's Andrea Petkovic.

Other second-round play on Thursday will feature the tournament openers for Petra Kvitova and Sara Errani, who also had first-round byes. The second- seeded Kvitova won this event in 2011 and will face Frenchwoman Alize Cornet, while the third-seeded Errani, last year's runner-up, will take on fellow Italian Karin Knapp.

This week's champion will claim $132,000.

The Sports Network

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