Former champion Li Na of China advanced to the second round of the Sydney International tennis tournament with a 7-6, 7-5 win over US player Christina McHale on Monday to continue her winning streak to start this year.
The fourth-seeded Li, who won the Shenzhen Open title last week, started her breakthrough 2011 season with a title in Sydney before reaching her first grand slam final at the Australian Open, then winning her first major with the French Open at Roland Garros.
The 30-year-old will next meet Japanese qualifier Ayumi Morita, who ousted Slovak Daniela Hantuchova 1-6, 6-3, 6-3.
In an upset, American teenager Madison Keys ousted No 17-ranked Lucie Safarova 6-2, 6-1.
Former No 1-ranked Jelena Jankovic beat Tamira Paszek 6-2, 7-6 to set up a showdown with unseeded Italian Roberta Vinci, who upset eighth-seeded Nadia Petrova 7-5, 7-5.
French Open finalist Sara Errani advanced 6-1, 6-3 over Czech qualifier Karolina Pliskova 6-1, 6-3 and will go into a second-round match against Russia’s Maria Kirilenko, a 7-5, 6-2 winner over Australian wild card Olivia Rogowska.
In other first-round matches, 42-year-old Kimiko Date-Krumm of Japan beat Australia’s Casey Dellacqua 6-4, 6-1 and former US Open and French Open winner Svetlana Kuznetsova continued her comeback from a knee injury that marred her last year season with a 3-6, 6-3, 6-3 win over Germany’s Julia Gorges.
In men’s matches, fifth-seeded Florian Mayer of Germany beat Portugal’s Joao Sousa 6-1, 6-2 and Uzbekistan’s Denis Istomin defeated Australian qualifier James Duckworth 6-7, 6-4, 7-6.