BRISBANE, Australia, Jan. 1 (UPI) -- Kim Clijsters was among first-round winners Sunday when the WTA opened its 2012 season with the Brisbane International tournament in Australia.
Clijsters opened last year by winning 11 of her first 12 matches, including the Australian Open title match, and was ranked No. 1 last February. But a series of injuries limited her play in the second half of the year and she slipped to 13th in the 2011 year-end rankings.
She started 2012 with a solid 6-1, 6-4 victory over Simona Halep in just 64 minutes. Clijsters, seeded fifth in Brisbane, lost five points over four service games in the first set and sailed though the second in moving into the second round.
Third-seeded Francesca Schiavone also advanced after Ksenia Pervak retired with the match tied 4-4 in the first set.
Daniela Hantuchova recorded the first upset of the year with a 3-6, 6-4, 6-3 win over No. 8-seeded Dominika Cibulkova. Hantuchova won despite dropped serve twice in each set.
Also Sunday, Iveta Benesova topped Lucie Safarova 2-6, 7-5, 7-5 and Bojana Jovanovski defeated Casey Dellacqua 6-4, 6-2.