Schiavone and Clijsters open Brisbane with wins

The 2012 tennis season officially kicked off last night in Brisbane with Francesca Schiavone posting the first win of the new season over Ksenia Pervak.  Unfortunately, Pervak had to retire at 4-4 in the first set because of a migraine.  In other matches, Kim Clijsters made a confident start to 2012 with a 6-1 6-4 victory over Simona Halep.  Clijsters was happy with her performance and was also very complimentary in her post-match press conference about Ana Ivanovic, who she could face in the second round.  
Lucie Safarova produced the first choke of the season as she let slip a commanding lead to Iveta Benesova who triumphed, 2-6 7-5 7-5.  It was Benesova’s first ever win over Safarova, who showed that there is a fine line in her game between brilliance and mediocrity.  The final match of the day saw another stirring comeback as Daniela Hantuchova recovered from a 6-3 2-0 deficit to beat Dominika Cibulkova, 3-6 6-4 6-3.  The match saw a number of breaks although Hantuchova ended the match in impressive style on serve with 7 aces in the final set.  I was hoping for some highlights of the action on the internet, but I could not find any 😦  Hopefully with TV coverage on Eurosport starting tomorrow, there will be highlights of the matches I miss when i’m asleep!
The Hopman Cup has also started with France (Gasquet and Bartoli) and Spain (Verdasco and Medina Garrigues) both getting off to early victories.  Most notably, Li Na produced one of her best performances since her triumph at Roland Garros with a come-from-behind 2-6 6-2 6-4 victory over Marion Bartoli.  Although only an exhibition, this is a positive sign for Li who will start defending some almighty ranking points in Sydney next week…

Schiavone will play either Vera Dushevina or Galina Voskoboeva in the second round

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