BRISBANE, Jan 3: Top-seeded Australian Sam Stosur kicked off her 2011 season by easing through to the Brisbane International second round with a 7-6, 6-1 win over Czech qualifier Lucie Hradecka here on Monday.

The world number six was broken in the first game and had to save a set point before rattling through the tiebreaker 7-1 at Pat Rafter Arena.

Having shaken off the rust, the 26-year-old breezed through the second set and next faces fellow Australian Jarmila Groth at the warm-up tournament for the Jan 17-30 Australian Open.

Defending men’s champion Andy Roddick began his year with a comfortable 6-3, 6-2 first-round win over local wildcard Marinko Matosevic.

The world number eight, seeded second behind Robin Soderling, took just 72 minutes to blast Matosevic off the court as he started his build-up to the first Grand Slam of the year.

Slovakia’s Daniela Hantuchova withdrew from the tournament due to a partial tear to her left Achilles tendon. The 27-year-old, a semi-finalist at Melbourne Park in 2008, was scheduled to play Anna Chakvetadze and will be replaced in the draw by another Russian in Ksenia Pervak.

Results (prefix number denotes seeding):

Men’s:

First round: 2-Andy Roddick (US) bt Marinko Matosevic (Australia) 6-3, 6-2; Alexandr Dolgopolov (Ukraine) bt Igor Andreev (Russia) 6-4, 6-2; Santiago Giraldo (Colombia) bt Gilles Simon (France) 6-2, 6-3; 7-Florian Mayer (Germany) bt Bernard Tomic (Australia) 6-2, 6-2; Michael Berrer (Germany) bt Dudi Sela (Israel) 1-6, 7-6(3), 6-2; Lukasz Kubot (Poland) bt Daniel Brands (Germany) 6-2, 6-2.

Women’s:

First round: Jelena Dokic (Australia) bt Anastasia Pivovarova (Russia) 6-4, 6-3; Barbora Zahlavova Strycova (Czech Republic) bt Anna Tatishvili (Georgia) 7-5, 6-2; Iveta Benesova (Czech Republic) bt Polona Hercog (Slovenia) 6-2, 7-5; Andrea Petkovic (Germany) bt 8-Alexandra Dulgheru (Romania) 6-3, 6-0; Dominika Cibulkova (Slovakia) bt Sara Errani (Italy) 6-3, 6-0; Ksenia Pervak (Russia) bt Anna Chakvetadze (Russia) 6-2, 6-2; 4-Marion Bartoli (France) bt Vania King (US) 6-1, 6-2; Petra Kvitova (Czech Republic) bt 3-Nadia Petrova (Russia) 7-6(3), 6-3; 1-Samantha Stosur (Australia) bt Lucie Hradecka (Czech Republic) 7-6(1), 6-1; 2-Shahar Peer (Israel) bt Sophie Ferguson (Australia) 6-4, 6-2.

SHARAPOVA OFF TO FLYER

AUCKLAND: Top seed Maria Sharapova cruised through her first-round match in the Auckland Classic women’s tennis tournament on Monday disposing of Italian qualifier Alberta Brianti in straight sets.

Sharapova was seldom troubled as she won 6-2, 6-3 in less than 90 minutes on court with Brianti putting up her bravest showing in the second set when she saved four match points.

Former world number one Sharapova will now meet unseeded Czech Renata Voracova, who beat Spain’s Lourdes Dominguez Lino 4-6, 7-6 (8-6), 6-0.

It was Brianti’s second match of the day, after she lost to Britain’s Heather Watson 6-3, 6-2 in the final round of qualifying.

However, when tournament fifth-seed Anastasija Sevastova withdrew because of illness, Brianti was called up as the “lucky loser” and a rejig of the draw put her against Sharapova.

Results:

First round: Kateryna Bondarenko (Ukraine) bt 6-Kimiko Date Krumm (Japan) 6-4, 6-3; Anne Keothavong (Britain) bt Edina Gallovits (Romania) 6-7(4), 6-4, 6-0; 1-Maria Sharapova (Russia) bt Alberta Brianti (Italy) 6-2, 6-3; Renata Voracova (Czech Republic) bt Lourdes Dominguez Lino (Spain) 4-6, 7-6(8), 6-0; 3-Svetlana Kuznetsova (Russia) bt Sacha Jones (New Zealand) 6-4, 6-2; Peng Shuai (China) bt Johanna Larsson (Sweden) 6-1, 6-3.—Agencies

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