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Kim Cruises In Opener

Kim Clijsters needed just 53 minutes to beat Tathiana Garbin in her first match of 2010.

Published January 03, 2010 12:00

Kim Cruises In Opener
Kim Clijsters

BRISBANE, Australia - The first day of the new Sony Ericsson WTA Tour season took place in Brisbane on Sunday, and the stars were definitely out - most notably Kim Clijsters, who cruised into the second round of the Brisbane International with a comprehensive 62 61 victory over Tathiana Garbin.

Listen to commentary on all singles matches on Pat Rafter Arena this week (and maybe even some doubles) on AO Series Radio!

Clijsters, the top seed at the International-level tournament, dropped her serve in the opening game but rebounded throughout the rest of the 53-minute match; in fact, she barely even let Garbin get on the board, holding game points in all three of the games she surrendered during the match.

"I enjoyed playing here today," said Clijsters, who was playing Garbin for the first time. "This is very good preparation for Melbourne."

Check out photos from Brisbane in the Brisbane Gallery!

Next up for Clijsters is Alicia Molik, who, in her first Tour event since returning to tennis at the end of last summer, outdid Ekaterina Makarova in a three set marathon, 64 16 64. Clijsters has prevailed over Molik in both of their previous meetings but those matches came several years ago, in 2001 and 2002.

"I feel confident about the way I was playing today," said Molik, who was granted a wildcard into the draw. "I'm looking forward to my next match against Kim. I remember we had our first match against each other at 14. In a way we grew up together. It will be great to play with her in my next match."

"Alicia is a great player. We've known each other since we were about 14. We also played a couple of doubles matches together when we were both on the Tour before," Clijsters added. "I think she's fit and has the hunger to win."

Click here to see Clijsters and Molik's head-to-head record.

There were mixed results for the other seeds in action, with No.7 seed Melinda Czink beating Lucie Hradecka, 64 36 63, and No.8 seed Iveta Benesova falling to Andrea Petkovic, 67(6) 62 61. Barbora Zahlavova Strycova and Vania King prevailed in first round matches between unseeded players.

Alla Kudryavtseva, Galina Voskoboeva, Sesil Karatantcheva and Ekaterina Ivanova secured berths in the main draw with wins in qualifying.

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