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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.

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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