One step Closer
MELBOURNE, AUSTRALIA (AP)
After surrendering her opening service game with a double-fault, Wimbledon champion Petra Kvitova won 12 consecutive games in a 6-2, 6-0 win Tuesday over Russia's Vera Dushevina to move into the second round of the Australian Open.
Wearing the purple color synonymous with Wimbledon, the No. 2-ranked Kvitova underlined her growing stature on the women's tour by not giving Dushevina a second chance. The 21-year-old Czech broke her Russian rival's serve three times in each set and finished off Tuesday's opening match on Rod Laver Arena in just over an hour.
Kvitova reached the quarterfinals here last year at the start of a season in which she surged up the rankings. Last week, she missed a chance to overhaul Caroline Wozniacki's No. 1 ranking when she lost in the Sydney International semifinals. She needed to win the Sydney tournament to take the top ranking.
But she gets another chance at Melbourne Park, where she's one of six women who can finish No. 1.
''I have great memories of this court from last year, when I came out, everything came back in my head,'' she said in a post-match TV interview. ''It was nice.''
It gave her the confidence to win her first major later in the year.
The Wimbledon title ''was a surprise for me,'' she said. ''Nobody expected it, or knew I could be No. 2.''
Other women advancing included No. 15 Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova of Russia, No. 27 Maria Kirilenko, Canada's Aleksandra Wozniak, Shahar Peer of Israel and American Vania King, who beat Kateryna Bondarenko of Ukraine 7-6 (3), 6-3.
Men's No. 5 David Ferrer, a semifinalist here last year, had a 6-1, 6-4, 6-2 win over Portugal's Rui Machado and Germany's Philipp Petzschner routed Czech Republic's Lukas Rosol 6-0, 6-0, 6-2. No. 24 seed Kei Nishikori of Japan beat Stephane Robert of France 6-1, 7-6 (7), 6-0.
Serena Williams, a 13-time Grand Slam singles winner, will play a night match on Tuesday against Tamira Paszek. Williams didn't get to defend her title last year because of injury and comes into the season's first major with concern over her left ankle, which she twisted at a tuneup tournament in Brisbane earlier this month.
U.S. Open champion Sam Stosur will be trying to end a rough stretch in which the Aussie has only one win in two tournaments on home soil this month.
Men's champion Novak Djokovic was to follow Kvitova's match on Rod Laver Arena. Djokovic, who won three of the four majors and finished No. 1 last season, opens against Paolo Lorenzi of Italy.