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Serena powers into Stuttgart second round

Serena Williams blasts her way into the second round with a 6-0, 6-0 win over Zuzana Ondraskova at the Stuttgart WTA event.
AFP | By HT Correspondent, Stuttgart
UPDATED ON OCT 03, 2007 04:30 PM IST

Serena Williams blasted her way into the second round of Stuttgart's WTA tournament while France's Amelie Mauresmo became the first big-name casualty on Tuesday.

Serena Williams opened her campaign with a rapid-fire 6-0, 6-0 win over the Czech Republic's Zuzana Ondraskova, the first lucky loser from the main draw after Williams' original opponent Elena Bobina withdrew with an ankle injury.

The 27-year-old right-hander, ranked 140th in the world, was totally outclassed by sixth-seed Williams' power game and was dumped out in just 48 relentless minutes.

"I was pleased with that," said Australian Open champion Williams, who will face Julia Vakulenko in the second round after the Ukrainian's 6-4, 6-4 win over Germany's Julia Goerges late on Tuesday night.

"That was a good start and I am looking forward to seeing how far I go here in Stuttgart."

Earlier in the evening, Mauresmo was beaten 6-2, 7-5 by Russian Elena Dementieva, ranked 15th in the world, in 57 minutes as the French star made several first set errors and gave herself too much to do in the second.

The game was poised at 5-5 in the second when Dementieva broke her French opponent and held her serve to reach the second round where she will face either Lucie Safarova or eighth seed Daniela Hantuchova.

"I just didn't play well in the first set and playing someone like Elena you need your rhythm from the start," said the 28-year-old who is 12th in the WTA rankings. The second set was much better, the level of my game improved and I tried to be more agressive, but I made too many mistakes."

Earlier defending champion Nadia Petrova, who beat France's Tatiana Golovin in last year's final, recovered to win 2-6, 6-1, 6-1 at the Porsche Arena against spirited local Tatjana Malek to reach the second round.

The Russian dropped her serve twice in the first set through a series of unforced errors, but stepped up her game in the second and kept the German pinned back with her powerful game to win in 93 minutes.

"It wasn't an easy match for me," said Petrova who admitted struggling with a leg injury recently having exited last month's US Open in the third round and suffered a second round defeat in Luxemburg last week.

"My head was a bit of a mess afer the first set and I was worried a bit about the leg. I was trying to find my confidence and rhythm. But I knew what I had to do and I knew in my heart there was no way this girl was going to beat me. I have been in this situation a few times and I just got on with the job."

The seventh-seeded Russian will play Italian Karin Knapp in the second round and looks set for a show-down with third seed Jelena Jankovic in the third round.

But Malek admitted her performance against Petrova had given her the confidence to try to break into the top hundred from her ranking of 106th in the world.

"I just tried to play the best tennis I could," said the 20-year-old. I was pleased with my performance, especially when I took the first set, but I would have been happier if I had beaten her. She is seventh in the world and it showed in the way she responded."

Earlier in the day, Poland's Agnieszka Radwanska beat France's Wimbledon finalist Marion Bartoli 0-6, 6-2, 6-1.

The Pole, ranked 36th in the world will play world number two and second seeded Russian Svetlana Kuznetsova in the second round.

And Israel's Shahar Peer will take on Serbian Jankovic in the second round after beating Italian Francesca Schiavone 6-1, 7-6 (8/6) on Tuesday.

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