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Badosa, Kontaveit and Kvitova advance in Sydney

Two of the WTA’s breakthrough stars in 2021 – Anett Kontaveit and Paula Badosa – scored straight sets wins in Sydney on Monday

Paula Badosa of Spain in action during the first round of the 2022 Adelaide International WTA 500 tennis tournament Paula Badosa of Spain in action during the first round of the 2022 Adelaide International WTA 500 tennis tournament Image credit: Zuma / Panoramic

Fourth seed Anett Kontaveit and fifth seed Paula Badosa, two of the players who broke through in 2021 to qualify for the WTA Finals, scored comfortable first-round wins at the Sydney Tennis Classic on Monday.

Badosa, who lost her season opener to Victoria Azarenka in the opening round at the Adelaide International last week, scored a 7-6, 6-1 win over former French Open champion Jelena Ostapenko in one hour and 22 minutes.

Indian Wells champion Badosa earned herself 13 break point opportunities in the match, converting five times. The Spaniard lost her own serve on only two occasions during the first-round match. She will meet either Ajla Tomljanovic or a qualifier in the second round.

Kontaveit, won four titles starting August to qualify for the season-ending WTA Finals for the first time and finished runner-up to Garbine Muguruza at the season-ending event, scored a 6-3, 6-3 win over Shuai Zhang in one hour and 29 minutes. She will meet the winner of an all-qualifier battle in the second round.

The Estonian converted three of five break chances she earned and saved the only break point on her own serve during the match.

Kvitova saves match points to reach second round

Also on Monday, two-time Wimbledon champion Petra Kvitova saved two match points in her first-round win over Dutchwoman Arantxa Rus.

After dropping the first set, Kvitova took the second set in a tiebreaker and saved two matchpoints in the 10th game of the decider. Once the Czech held for 5-5, she broke Rus’ serve and then held her own to complete the 3-7, 7-6, 7-5 win in two hours and 51 minutes.

World No 1 Ash Barty, who won the Adelaide singles & doubles title on Sunday, pulled out of the tournament due to a change in schedule.

WTA Finals champion Garbine Muguruza and French Open champion Barbora Krejcikova are now the top-ranked players in the tournament, which serves as one of the final tune-ups for the Australian Open, which begins in Melbourne on January 17.

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