Australian Open: Simona Halep cruises to second round. Ivanovici falls to inspired Hradecka

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Simona Halep showed no ill effects of the illness that put her out of Sydney last week, cruising through her first match at the Australian Open on Monday afternoon, wtatennis.com informs.

Her opponent showed flashes of brilliance, but Simona Halep was just too sharp on Monday, showing no ill effects from the illness that put her out of the Apia International Sydney last week and cruising through her first match at the Australian Open in straight sets.

Her opponent, Karin Knapp, had a strong start, going up 2-0, and she ended up lasting almost an hour and a half against Halep – but the No.3-seeded Romanian had the best answers every time, ripping a total of 15 winners to move smoothly through to the second round by a 6-3, 6-2 scoreline.

Halep is now a perfect 6-0 on the year. She went 5-0 to win her first WTA title of the year – and the ninth of her career – at Shenzhen two weeks ago, and made it 6-0 with her win on Monday.

Awaiting Halep in the second round is Australia’s own Jarmila Gajdosova, who struck 19 winners to beat another Romanian, Alexandra Dulgheru, by a 6-3, 6-4 scoreline over on Margaret Court Arena.

Ana Ivanovic started strong but Lucie Hradecka finished stronger, the Czech qualifier going from strength to strength to pull off the first huge stunner of the fortnight.

The only time they played it was a nail-biter – Ana Ivanovic fought off two match points and won 8-6 third set at Wimbledon five years ago. But this time Lucie Hradecka closed it out, the Czech qualifier stunning Ivanovic in the first round of the Australian Open on Monday.

The No.5-seeded Ivanovic started strong, storming through the first set in just 21 minutes, 6-1, but Hradecka began finding the range on her huge serve and groundstrokes – as well as her seasoned net play – from there, clawing her way back and eventually pulling off a 1-6, 6-3, 6-2 victory.

Hradecka’s win over the World No.5 was the third Top 5 win of her career – she took out Petra Kvitova and Sam Stosur, ranked No.4 and No.5 at the time, on the blue clay courts of Madrid in 2012.

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