Ivanovic cruises through on the Gold Coast

 
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PERTH, Jan 1 (Reuters) Serbia's Ana Ivanovic saw in the New Year with a comfortable first-round victory over qualifier Roberta Vinci in the Australian women's hardcourt championships on the Gold Coast today.

The third seed struggled to overcome the Italian in the first set but wrapped up the tie-break 7-5 before racing through the second set 6-1 to book a second-round berth against Venezuela's Milagros Sequera.

One seed that was scattered, however, was Germany's number four Anna-Lena Groenefeld who lost an epic tussle with Italy's Tathiana Garbin 7-6 6-7 6-3.

Israel's Shahar Peer also progressed at the expense of Meghann Shaughnessy, the American briefly threatening an upset before the fifth seed triumphed 6-1 5-7 6-0.

China's Li Na, the sixth seed, lost just four games as she swept past Czech Sandra Zahlavova while seventh seed Katarina Srebotnik beat American Vania King 6-4 6-3.

REUTERS SAM PM1526

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