SYDNEY - The top-four seeds, including Dane Caroline Wozniacki and Czech Petra Kvitova, all posted opening-round wins Tuesday at the $637,000 Sydney International tennis tournament.
The world No. 1 Wozniacki held off scrappy Slovak Dominika Cibulkova 7-5, 2-6, 6-4, while the second-seeded Wimbledon champion Kvitova snuck past Romanian lucky-loser Alexandra Dulgheru 7-5, 3-6, 6-4 on the hardcourts at Sydney Olympic Park Tennis Centre.
Wozniacki fought back from 0-4 down in the third set against the game Cibulkova.
"I thought I didn't have that chance, but I never gave up the fight," Wozniacki said. "I'm happy to be through to the next round here. Definitely that I could fight back from that score is satisfying, but I definitely need to step up my game a little bit in the next round."
Meanwhile, third-seeded Belarusian Victoria Azarenka handled former world No. 1 Jelena Jankovic of Serbia 6-4, 6-2 and fourth-seeded French Open champion and Aussie Open runner-up Li Na of China overcame South African qualifier Chanelle Scheepers 2-6, 6-4, 6-1.
Jankovic was the Sydney runner-up back in 2007.
In other action involving seeds, No. 7 Agnieszka Radwanska of Poland got past world No. 10 Andrea Petkovic of Germany 7-5, 6-4 and No. 8 Marion Bartoli of France defeated wild card and Aussie crowd favourite Jelena Dokic 6-0, 6-3.
Also on Day 3, two-time major champion Svetlana Kuznetsova of Russia was trailing Czech Lucie Safarova 1-6, 0-2 before retiring due to a heat-related illness and Slovakian veteran Daniela Hantuchova moved on with a 7-5, 6-1 win over 2011 French Open runner-up and 2010 Roland Garros titlist Francesca Schiavone, who was the Sydney runner-up in 2006. Kuznetsova was a finalist here in 2008.
Wednesday's quarterfinals will pit Wozniacki against Radwanska, Kvitova versus Hantuchova, Azarenka against Bartoli and Li versus Safarova.
The formidable Kvitova would overtake Wozniacki as the top player in the world with a title this week.
"Petra is a great girl. I like her a lot. She's one of my good friends," Wozniacki said. "I'm sure we'll play against each other and we'll both do well in the years to come. The most important thing is that we're all healthy and playing well. The competition on the court will be good fun for the fans as well."
Troicki tops four-time champ Hewitt
SYDNEY - Fifth-seeded Serb Viktor Troicki came from behind to beat Aussie hero Lleyton Hewitt in opening-round action Tuesday at the $434,250 Sydney International tennis event, a final Australian Open tuneup.
Last year's runner-up Troicki dropped the first set against the wild card Hewitt before rebounding for a 4-6, 6-3, 6-2 decision on the hardcourts at Sydney Olympic Park Tennis Centre. Hewitt led by a set and a break, but Troicki just wound up being too much for him on Day 2.
The former world No. 1 Hewitt is a four-time Sydney titlist.
Troicki lost to France's Gilles Simon in last year's finale here.
Another seeded winner on Day 2 was No. 8 Czech Radek Stepanek, who fought back to best capable Belgian Xavier Malisse 6-7 (4-7), 6-4, 6-4.
Former Aussie Open runner-up and 2010 Sydney champion Marcos Baghdatis of Cyprus advanced with a 6-4, 6-4 victory over Russian Dmitry Tursunov, who titled here back in 2008.
Additional first-round wins came for Italian Fabio Fognini, Frenchman Julien Benneteau and Russian Alex Bogomolov Jr., who will face Troicki on Wednesday.
This week's top seeds are former U.S. Open champion Juan Martin del Potro of Argentina and 6-foot-9 American John Isner. The 6-foot-6 Del Potro will face Poland's Lukasz Kubot here on Wednesday, while Isner will take on qualifier and fellow American Bobby Reynolds in the round of 16.
Anderson falls in first round at Heineken Open
AUCKLAND, New Zealand - French qualifier Adrian Mannarino defeated fifth-seeded South African Kevin Anderson 6-3, 6-3 in opening- round action Tuesday at the $398,250 Heineken Open, a final Australian Open tuneup.
Eighth-seeded German Philipp Kohlschreiber, the 2008 Auckland champion, was tested on the hardcourts at ASB Tennis Centre before pulling out a 6-4, 4-6, 6-4 win over Swiss qualifier Stephane Bohli.
Also moving on were Ryan Harrison, Belgian Olivier Rochus, France's Benoit Paire, Czech Lukas Rosol, Italian Potito Starace, Argentine Carlos Berlocq and Spaniard Guillermo Garcia-Lopez. Harrison doused fellow American wild card Sam Querrey 6-4, 6-3, while the qualifier Paire surprised former world No. 1 Juan Carlos Ferrero of Spain 6-3, 6-2.
Two-time Auckland titlist David Ferrer of Spain bested Argentine star David Nalbandian in last year's Auckland finale. The world No. 5 Ferrer is this week's top seed and will face Rosol here on Wednesday.
Also on Wednesday, second-seeded Spaniard Nicolas Almagro will take on Colombian Santiago Giraldo.
Wickmayer, Kerber reach Hobart quarters
HOBART, Australia - Top-seeded Yanina Wickmayer and fourth- seeded Angelique Kerber were among those reaching the quarterfinals Tuesday at the $220,000 Moorilla Hobart International tennis event.
The Belgian Wickmayer mauled helpless Aussie wild card Casey Dellacqua 6-1, 6-1 in 61 minutes, while the German Kerber leveled Italian Sara Errani 6-1, 6-2 in 62 minutes on the hardcourts at Domain Tennis Centre.
A mild second-round upset came when Simona Halep knocked out eighth-seeded fellow Romanian Irina-Camelia Begu 6-4, 6-2. Halep will meet Wickmayer here in Thursday's quarters.
In opening-round action involving seeds on Day 3, No. 2 Anabel Medina Garrigues topped fellow Spaniard Carla Suarez Navarro 6-2, 7-6 (7-3) and No. 6 Israeli Shahar Peer drilled Czech Lucie Hradecka 6-3, 6-1. Peer was a finalist here two years ago, while Medina Garrigues was the Hobart runner-up 10 years ago.
In some other second-round play, former top-10 Russian and 2007 Hobart champ Anna Chakvetadze charged past Bulgarian Tsvetana Pironkova 6-3, 6-2 and Romanian Sorana Cirstea came back to beat last year's Hobart runner-up Bethanie Mattek-Sands 2-6, 6-3, 7-5. Cirstea will encounter Kerber in the round of eight.
Aussie favourite Jarmila Gajdosova beat the American Mattek-Sands in last year's Hobart finale.
One other first-round match saw qualifier Sacha Jones of New Zealand dismiss German lucky-loser Kristina Barrois 6-1, 6-4.