Sydney, Australia - Two-time champion Kim Clijsters made a successful return to the Sydney International tennis event, a final Australian Open tuneup.
The third-seeded Belgian won her first-round match at the tournament Sunday, breezing past Romanian Alexandra Dulgheru, 6-1, 6-2. Clijsters, who won the singles crown here in 2003 and '07, has a chance to move up to No. 2 in the rankings in a week, that is if she can win this tournament and have Vera Zvonareva not advance to the quarterfinals.
There was one other first-round result on the first day of the tournament as Russian Svetlana Kuznetsova topped Aussie wild card Jelena Dokic, 6-2, 6-2 on the hardcourts at Sydney Olympic Park Tennis Centre.
Kuznetsova is making her sixth straight appearance in Sydney, a stretch that includes a runner-up finish in 2008.
A since-retired Elena Dementieva upset American great Serena Williams in last year's Sydney finale. An injured Williams will also miss this week's tournament. Denmark's Caroline Wozniacki is the top seed.