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Rediff.com  » Sports » PHOTOS: Easy wins for Djokovic, Sharapova at Aus Open

PHOTOS: Easy wins for Djokovic, Sharapova at Aus Open

Last updated on: January 17, 2012 10:54 IST

Sharapova ruthless in Dulko thrashing

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Maria Sharapova marched into the second round of the Australian Open on Tuesday with a ruthless 6-0 6-1 victory over Agrentina's Gisela Dulko in just 58 minutes.

The 24-year-old Russian had been heading for a 'double bagel' 6-0 6-0 victory until she temporarily lost control of her serve in the third game of the second set and was broken.

Dulko, who had beaten Sharapova at Wimbledon in 2009 in their only other meeting, punched the air in delight after winning the game while the crowd on the second show court of Hisense Arena gave her a massive cheer and sustained applause.

Sharapova, however, was not prepared to stay on court any longer than she had to in the intense heat, breaking Dulko's next two service games and while the Argentine had three break points when the fourth seed was serving for the match she was unable to stave off the inevitable.


Image: Maria Sharapova
Photographs: Getty Images

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Red-hot Djokovic kicks off title defence in style

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Novak Djokovic stayed cool in the heat to kick off his Australian Open title defence with an emphatic 6-2, 6-0 6-0 victory over Italian journeyman Paolo Lorenzi on Tuesday.

The Serbian, yawning under the sun at Rod Laver Arena, stumbled early with a break to trail 2-1, but rattled off 17 straight games to seal the match in 92 minutes.

The 109th-ranked Lorenzi, searching for his first win at a grand slam, battled gamefully from the baseline but Djokovic turned the match into a trick-shot clinic, flicking an attempted lob back through his legs before closing out the match with a delightful drop-shot.

Djokovic, the 2008 and 2011 champion, will face Colombia's Santiago Giraldo in the second round.


Image: Novak Djokovic
Photographs: Getty Images

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Kvitova demolishes Dushevina

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World number two Petra Kvitova took a little bit of time to get warmed up in the blistering Melbourne heat before demolishing Vera Dushevina 6-2, 6-0 in just over an hour on Tuesday to advance to the second round of the Australian Open.

The Wimbledon champion, who is the pundits' favourite for the title at Melbourne Park, was broken in her first service game by the 25-year-old Russian, but then won the next 12 games in temperatures above 30 degrees Celsius.

Dushevina had no answer to the tall Kvitova's court coverage, punishing groundstrokes and execution of shots from nearly impossible angles. The Czech producing a highlight play with one backhand return of serve that was taken late and from outside the tram lines and blasted back across court, landing just inside the service box and pinging away.

Kvitova, who helped the Czech Republic to the Hopman Cup in Perth then made the Sydney International semi-finals before the year's first grand slam began, next plays either Spain's Carla Suarez Navarro or Romania's Irina Begu.


Image: Petra Kvitova
Photographs: Getty Images

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Ferrer eases into second round

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Fifth seed David Ferrer, a beaten semi-finalist here last year and champion in Auckland last week, also spent as little time in the blazing sunshine as possible.

The Spaniard took just one hour 44 minutes to blitz Portugal's Rui Machado 6-1 6-4 6-2 and progress to the second round.


Image: David Ferrer
Photographs: Getty Images

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Australian Stosur crumbles in first round

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US Open champion Sam Stosur crumbled once again under the huge weight of local expectation to crash out of the Australian Open 7-6, 6-3 at the hands of Romania's Sorana Cirstea in the first round.

Sixth seed Stosur, who has never been past the fourth round at Melbourne Park, battled bravely at the end to stave off defeat but will rue 33 unforced errors on Rod Laver Arena.


Image: Sam Stosur
Photographs: Getty Images

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Cirstea advances to second round

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Cirstea, who reached the quarter-finals at Roland Garros in 2009, found the lines with her looping forehands to keep Stosur on the back foot and was ruthless when she came into the net.

The 21-year-old sealed the victory on her fourth match point after 91 minutes to leave Australia's search for a first women's champion since Chris O'Neil in 1978 almost certainly destined to continue for another year.


Image: Sorana Cirstea
Photographs: Getty Images

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