Serena Williams posts solid first-round win in Australia

Jan. 13, 2014 at 7:06 AM
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MELBOURNE, Jan. 13 (UPI) -- No. 1-ranked Serena Williams cruised through a 6-2, 6-1 victory over Ashleigh Barty Monday, beginning her quest for a sixth Australian Open title.

Williams had 31 winners among the 58 points she won in a dominant performance that took 56 minutes. She allowed Barty a mere six points -- two off double faults -- when Williams served.

Four seeded players, including No. 6 Petra Kvitova, were ousted as the year's first tennis major began.

Kvitova fell to No. 87-ranked Luksika Kumkhum 6-2, 1-6, 6-4. Kvitova committed 40 unforced errors, including 18 in the third set. Kumkhum won nearly half (46-of-97) of the points off Kvitova's serve.

Both members of the No. 1-ranked and defending Australian Open women's doubles team dropped singles matches Monday. Julia Goerges ousted seventh-seeded Sara Errani 6-3, 6-2 with five breaks and Zheng Jie took out No. 12-seeded Roberta Vinci 6-4, 6-3 by cashing in five of her seven break opportunities.

Alison Riske also pulled off an upset, eliminating No. 23-seeded Elena Vesnina 6-2, 6-2.

Fourth-seeded Li Na, the women's singles runner-up to Victoria Azarenka last year, routed Ana Konjuh 6-2, 6-0. Li won nearly 70 percent of the points on serve and 58 percent off Konjuh's serve.

Angelique Kerber, seeded ninth, got by Jarmila Gajdosova 6-3, 0-6, 6-2, 14th-seeded Ana Ivanovic defeated Kiki Bertens 6-4, 6-4 and No. 15 Sabine Lisicki topped Mirjana Lucic-Baroni 6-2, 6-1.

Ekaterina Makarova, the No. 22 seed, ousted Venus Williams 2-6, 6-4, 6-4. Williams was up a break in the set but wasn't able to hold on. She had 50 winners but also 56 unforced errors, with 21 coming in the third set.

Other seeded players with wins Monday were No. 17 Samantha Stosur, 18th-seeded Kirsten Flipkens, No. 26 Lucie Safarova, 28th-seeded Flavia Pennetta and No. 30 Eugenie Bouchard.

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