Melbourne, Australia (SportsNetwork.com) - Last year's runner-up Li Na notched a second-round victory over Switzerland's Belinda Bencic on Wednesday at the Australian Open, the first Grand Slam of the year.
The fourth-seeded Li, who lost to two-time reigning champion Victoria Azarenka in last year's final, bageled Bencic in a 22-minute first set, but faced much more resistance in the second as Bencic forced a tiebreak.
However, the Chinese star was able to gut out a 6-0, 7-6 (7-5) triumph amid the scorching heat at Rod Laver Arena.
Russian Ekaterina Makarova also moved on to the third round Wednesday when she straight-setted American Irina Falconi 6-2, 7-5.
The 22nd-seeded Makarova ousted seven-time Grand Slam winner Venus Williams in Monday's first round.