GOLD COAST, Australia, Dec. 31 (UPI) -- Dinara Safina opened defense of her Australian Women's Hardcourts title by rallying Monday for a three-set victory.
Safina, seeded third, dropped her first set but was solid in the second and third sets in stopping Jarmila Gajdosova 4-6, 6-1, 6-2 in her first match of the Australian Open tuneup.
Sixth-seeded Amelie Mauresmo, who won the 2007 Australian Open, cruised to a 6-1, 6-1 victory over Olga Savchuk. Also winning was fourth-seeded Patty Schnyder, who defeated Alisa Kleybanova 6-1, 6-3.
The total purse for the Australia Women's Hardcourts $175,000. The tournament final scheduled for Saturday.
The Australian Open, the year's first Grand Slam event, is set for Jan. 14-27.