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S. Williams opens new season with victory

Dec. 30, 2012 at 1:37 PM

BRISBANE, Australia, Dec. 30 (UPI) -- Serena Williams showed few signs of rust after toe surgery, cruising to a first-round win in the season-opening Brisbane International in Australia Sunday.

The third-seeded Williams underwent a procedure on her big toes this month, forcing her to withdraw from a Thailand exhibition, but she managed to dispatch Varvara Lepchenko 6-2, 6-1 to begin the WTA season.

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The American star and WTA Player of the Year is coming off an outstanding 2012, during which she won Wimbledon, the U.S. Open, the London Olympics and the season-ending Championships.

Also at the Queensland Tennis Center Sunday, No. 6 seed Petra Kvitova downed Carla Suarez Navarro 6-3, 6-4 and Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova outlasted Lucie Hradecka 6-3, 3-6, 6-3.

Other Day 1 winners included 2012 runner-up Daniela Hantuchova, Jarmila Gajdosova and Urszula Radwanska.

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