Straight sets success for Safina and Serena

World-ranked one and two Dinara Safina and Serena Williams have both advanced to the second round of the China Open.

World-ranked one and two Dinara Safina and Serena Williams have both advanced to the second round of the China Open.

Safina, who made an early exit in the US Open by going out in the third round, defeated Italy’s Roberta Vinci 6-4 6-4.

Williams – aiming to overtake her Russian rival in the rankings – also won in straight sets, beating Kaia Kanepi of Estonia 7-5 6-4.

However number six seed Svetlana Kuznetsova found it hard going against Zheng Jie, eventually winning 7-6 (7-3) 7-5.

Kuznetsova found herself playing catch-up in both sets after being 3-0 down in the first and 4-0 down in the second.

Fellow Russian Vera Zvonareva, the seventh seed, recorded a 6-2 6-2 victory against Sorana Cirstea of Romania.

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