Serena Williams advances in Brisbane
By John Pye ,APBRISBANE, Australia -- Serena Williams carried her relentless winning form into the New Year with a 6-2, 6-2 victory over Alize Cornet at the Brisbane International on Tuesday after Maria Sharapova withdrew and two more highly ranked players made exits in the second round.
January 2, 2013, 12:02 am TWN
Third-ranked Williams, who finished off the 2012 season with titles at Wimbledon, the London Olympics, the U.S. Open and the season-ending WTA Championships, needed only an hour to beat the No. 44-ranked Cornet and move into the quarterfinals in the opening event of 2013.
She said she had a touch of insomnia after arriving in Australia, and was awake listening to the New Year's Eve fireworks and celebrations in Brisbane on Monday but not able to join in.
Williams was hitting winners so fiercely that Cornet didn't bother chasing many of them into the corners, and hit a serve at 200 kph (124 mph) late in the second set. She will next meet the winner of Wednesday's match between fellow American Sloane Stephens and Sweden's Sofia Arvidsson.
Sharapova withdrew earlier Tuesday with an injured right collarbone, while 2011 champion Petra Kvitova lost in straight sets soon after.
Combined with Daniela Hantuchova's 4-6, 6-1, 7-5 win over No. 5 Sara Errani and the first-round exits of No. 7 Sam Stosur and No. 8 Caroline Wozniacki, the season-opening event featuring eight of the top 10 ranked women had already lost five of its top eight seeds before the end of the second round.