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Tennis: Wozniacki, Kerber advance at Sydney International

AP, Monday 6 Jan 2014
Caroline Wozniacki
Caroline Wozniacki of Denmark serves to Donna Vekic of Croatia during their women's singles match at the Australian Open tennis tournament in Melbourne January 17, 2013 (Photo: Reuters)
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Only days after her New Year's Eve engagement to golfer Rory McIlroy, Caroline Wozniacki opened her 2014 season on Monday with a 3-6, 6-2, 6-4 win over Julia Goerges of Germany in the first round of the Sydney International.

Wozniacki withdrew from the Brisbane International last week after hurting her right shoulder in practice and struggled early against Goerges, who was replacing the injured Sloane Stephens in the draw.

Another former No. 1, Jelena Jankovic, lost 6-4, 6-2 to Ekaterina Makarova of Russia in the first round earlier Monday.

Fifth-seeded Angelique Kerber of Germany beat Dominika Cibulkova of Slovakia 7-6 (5), 7-5 to move into the second round at the Sydney International, one of the last warm-up tournaments for the Australian Open.

Kerber will next play Kaia Kanepi of Estonia, who beat American qualifier Victoria Duval 6-1, 6-3.

In other first-round matches, Lucie Safarova beat 2010 French Open champion Francesca Schiavone 6-4, 6-4 and Bethanie Mattek-Sands defeated Eugenie Bouchard 6-4, 6-3.

Also advancing was Lauren Davis, Varvara Lepchenko and Tsvetana Pironkova.

On the comeback from a long layoff with a knee injury, Mattek-Sands had a first-round loss in Brisbane last week and went through three rounds of qualifying for Sydney. She next faces defending champion and No. 1-seeded Agnieszka Radwanska.

''She reads the ball so early so it's going to be a great battle,'' Mattek-Sands said of her second-round match. ''But I'm looking forward to it. This is why you train - it's to play the best players in the world. So why not play the No. 1 seed?''

The Hobart International had another injury setback Monday when fifth-seeded Flavia Pennetta withdrew citing a wrist injury, a day after Venus Williams pulled out following her run to the final at the ASB Classic in Auckland, New Zealand.

Top-seeded Samantha Stosur needed five match points before beating American qualifier Madison Brengle of the United States 6-7 (4), 6-1, 7-6 (5) in a match interrupted twice by rain, eighth-seeded Bojana Jovanovski of Serbia had a 7-5, 6-3 win over Annika Beck of Germany, and Yanina Wickmayer of Belgium advanced when Laura Robson retired in the second set. Robson won the first set 6-4, but was down a break at 2-0 when she retired in the second.

In other first-round matches in Hobart, Spanish qualifier Estrella Cabeza Candela beat Karin Knapp of Italy 7-5, 6-4, Australian wild-card entry Casey Dellacqua beat Belgian qualifier Alison Van Uytvanck 6-4, 6-4 and Zhang Shuai had a 6-3, 6-1 win in an all-Chinese match against Zheng Jie.

In Auckland, 21-year-old American Jack Sock, ranked 100, advanced to the second round of the ATP's Heineken Open with a 6-3, 6-4 win over Adrian Mannarino of France.

Sock, who won the 2011 U.S. Open mixed doubles title with Melanie Oudin, served 11 aces in the match.

Also, Santiago Giraldo of Colombia beat Albert Montanes of Spain 6-1, 7-6 (3).

(For more sports news and updates, follow Ahram Online Sports on Twitter at @AO_Sports and on Facebook at AhramOnlineSports.)

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