Sharapova through, Ivanovic crashes out

Russian wins first-round match but former French Open champion beaten in three sets; Bencic, Lisicki also out.

    Ivanovic had risen to fifth in the world rankings [Getty Images]
    Ivanovic had risen to fifth in the world rankings [Getty Images]

    Maria Sharapova ruined Petra Martic's 24th birthday by recording a 6-4, 6-1 victory to advance to the second round of the Australian Open.

    However, fifth-ranked Ana Ivanovic led a parade of women's seeds knocked out in the first round after the Serb was upset by doubles specialist Lucie Hradecka 1-6, 6-3, 6-2.

    Sharapova will now meet compatriot Alexandra Panova in the second round after she beat Romania's Sorana Cirstea 7-5, 6-0.

    Meanwhile, Ivanovic joined double grand slam winner Sveltana Kuznetsova (27th), Swiss teen Belinda Bencic (32nd) and Sabine Lisicki (28th) as seeded casualties in early first round action.

    Ivanovic, a former Australian Open finalist, had roared through the first set in 21 minutes on Rod Laver Arena and looked set to follow third seed Simona Halep into the second round after the Romanian's 6-3, 6-2 win over Italy's Karen Knapp in the first game on the showcourt.

    However, Hradecka, who played only three WTA level events in 2014, raced through the next two sets in just over an hour to send the Serb packing and set up a second-round encounter with Slovenia's Polona Hercog or China's Wang Qiang.

    Bencic was hammered 6-2, 6-1 by Julia Goerges in just over an hour, while Kuznetsova, the 2004 US Open and 2009 French Open champion, lost 6-4, 6-2 to France's Caroline Garcia, and German Lisicki was beaten 4-6, 6-4, 6-2 by Kristina Mladenovic, also of France.

    SOURCE: Reuters


    YOU MIGHT ALSO LIKE

    Double standards: 'Why aren't we all with Somalia?'

    Double standards: 'Why aren't we all with Somalia?'

    Almost 300 people died in Mogadishu but some are asking why there was less news coverage and sympathy on social media.

    How Moscow lost Riyadh in 1938

    How Moscow lost Riyadh in 1938

    Russian-Saudi relations could be very different today, if Stalin hadn't killed the Soviet ambassador to Saudi Arabia.

    Kobe Steel: A scandal made in Japan

    Kobe Steel: A scandal made in Japan

    Japan's third-largest steelmaker has admitted it faked data on parts used in cars, planes and trains.