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Winning starts for Sania, Somdev

Somdev Devvarman and Sania Mirza scored identical and convincing straight-set victories over their respective higher-ranked opponents in the first round of the Sony Ericsson Open on Thursday.

sports Updated: Mar 24, 2011 23:34 IST

Somdev Devvarman and Sania Mirza scored identical and convincing straight-set victories over their respective higher-ranked opponents in the first round of the Sony Ericsson Open on Thursday. Ranked 73 on the ATP charts, Somdev downed world number 47 Potito Starace of Italy 6-2, 6-4 in his opening round of the ATP Masters event.

Qualifier Sania, ranked 99, defeated Spanish world number 62 Arantxa Parra Santonja 6-2, 6-4 in WTA premier event. Sania has a tough second round ahead as she is up against 24th seed Russian Maria Kirilenko. Somdev will clash with Canadian world number 34 Milos Raonic, seeded 31, in his second round and if he manages to get past him, he could have a match against world number six David Ferrer in the third round.

I’m not going to Japan: Clijsters

KEY BISCAYNE, Florida: Kim Clijsters is planning to avoid Japan over radiation fears since an earthquake and tsunami crippled a nuclear plant there.

Clijsters told Belgian media on Tuesday that she wouldn't go to the WTA tournament in Tokyo in September nor to one in Beijing the following month. The WTA released a statement from Clijsters on Wednesday.

Tennis stars up for Japan quake relief MIAMI: Some of the world's best tennis players, including world No. 1 Rafael Nadal and No. 2 Novak Djokovic, traded in their racquets for football boots on Wednesday on behalf of Japanese quake victims.