Li Na advances; Venus, Kvitova ousted at Australian Open

Melbourne, Jan 13 : Two-time Australian Open runner-up Li Na won her first round match while sixth seed Petra Kvitova and seventh seed Sara Errani suffered early exits at the Australian Open here Monday.

Former World No.2 Tommy Haas of Germany was forced to withdraw midway through his opening-round clash with Guillermo Garcia-Lopez in the men's singles event, reports Xinhua.

Fourth-seeded Li needed only 61 minutes to breeze past 2013 Australian Open Junior champion Ana Konjuh of Croatia at 6-2, 6-0 and will play against Swiss qualifier Belinda Bencic in Wednesday's second-round match.

"The match is not as easy as the score tells. Every match is tough and my experiences helped me in the match," said Li. "My strain capacity and my skills are the key to my victory."

The Chinese will play against Swiss teenager Belinda Bencic, who knocked out Japanese veteran Date-Krumm Kimiko, in a second round match Wednesday.

"I know she (Bencic) played Kimiko today, but I have to prepare for my match so I didn't really see much. So I will try to find something on Internet," said Li on her next round opponent.

Li's compatriot, unseeded Zheng Jie stunned No.12 seed Roberta Vinci 6-4, 6-3.

Vinci's compatriot and doubles' partner Errani became the highest seeded woman to fall on the opening day when she was upended by German's Julia Goerges in straight sets 3-6, 2-6.

The list of big names who dropped out of the tournament also includes former World No.1 Venus Williams, who lost to 22nd seed Ekaterina Makarova 6-2, 4-6, 4-6.

Venus's sister and title-favourite Serena Williams only let wildcard Aussie Ashleigh Barty takes three games to open her tournament with a 6-2, 6-1.

Defending champion Novak Djokovic made a good start beating Lukas Lacko of Slovakia 6-3, 7-6(2), 6-1.

--IANS (Posted on 13-01-2014)

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