No.1 seeds Caroline Garcia and Kristina Mladenovic put together a dominant performance in their first match of 2017 to move into the second round of the Australian Open.
WTA Staff

MELBOURNE, Australia - No.1 seeds Caroline Garcia and Kristina Mladenovic put together a dominant performance in their first match of 2017 to move into the second round of the Australian Open.

Despite not playing together since their heartbreaking defeat in last year's Fed Cup final, the French duo showed no signs of rust and cruised past Belinda Bencic and Ana Konjuh 6-1, 6-2.

Garcia and Mladenovic have a shot at becoming co-No.1s in doubles at the end of this fortnight, and they definitely played like it as they comfortably broke twice to climb ahead to a 4-1 lead. Bencic's backhand caught the net time and time again, giving the French duo plenty of free points.

Bencic and Konjuh finally got on the board with a strong Bencic service game, but it didn't make a dent in the French team's momentum and they served out the opening set with ease. Another pair of back-to-back breaks of serve gave Garcia and Mladenovic their first victory of 2017 after just 47 minutes.

Bethanie Mattek-Sands

Also through to the second round are the No.2 seeds Bethanie Mattek-Sands and Lucie Safarova. They survived a late wobble to advance 6-1, 7-5 over Nicole Gibbs and Chuang Chia-Jung.

Currently the World No.1 doubles player, Mattek-Sands is likely breathing a sigh of relief, as her and Safarova's road to the final has cleared up considerably following the withdrawal of potential third-round opponents Venus Williams and Serena Williams.

"I was hoping to have the capacity to play both events here, but at this point I just need to be careful and just try to maintain myself," said Venus, citing an elbow injury.