Brisbane, Australia (SportsNetwork.com) - Third-seeded Angelique Kerber moved on, while fourth-seeded Australian Open runner-up Dominika Cibulkova and former world No. 1 Victoria Azarenka dropped their season-opening matches at the $1 million Brisbane International tennis event.
The German left-hander Kerber handled France's Caroline Garcia 6-4, 6-3, while rising American Madison Keys vanquished the diminutive Slovakian Cibulkova 7-5, 6-2 and big-serving Czech Karolina Pliskova overcame the Belarusian two-time Australian Open champion Azarenka 4-6, 7-6 (9-7), 6-4 on the hardcourts at Queensland Tennis Centre.
Serena Williams beat the 2009 titlist and 2008 runner-up Azarenka in last year's marquee Brisbane finale for her second straight title here. Williams is not defending her titles this year.
In other matches involving Americans, Madison Brengle topped Ukrainian fellow qualifier Lesia Tsurenko 7-6 (8-6), 6-3; Croatian veteran Mirjana Lucic-Baroni whipped Christina McHale 6-3, 6-0; Russian qualifier Daria Gavrilova dropped Alison Riske 7-5, 6-3; and Russian lucky-loser Alla Kudryavtseva drilled Bethanie Mattek-Sands 6-4, 6-2.
Also on Day 2, Aussie qualifier Jarmila Gajdosova doused Chinese Zhang Shuai 6-4, 6-1 and Yaroslava Shvedova edged out former Wimbledon runner-up Sabine Lisicki of Germany 0-6, 7-5, 6-4.
On Tuesday, top-seeded Russian star Maria Sharapova will meet the Kazakhstani qualifier Shvedova in a second-round affair.
Brisbane serves as a tune-up for the Aussie Open, which will begin January 19 in Melbourne.