Clijsters eases into second round in Sydney

SYDNEY (Reuters) - Kim Clijsters beat Romania's Alexandra Dulgheru 6-1 6-2 in her first competitive match of 2011 to ease into the second round of the Sydney International Sunday.

The third-seeded Belgian did not face a single break point in the 62-minute match, which set up a second-round contest against Nadia Petrova or a qualifier in the $990,500 warm up for the year's first major.

The 27-year-old former world number one was knocked out of Australian Open by Russian Petrova last year, her first return to the tournament after taking two years out of the game to have a child.

"I had a good feeling with the way I was playing in Thailand and I was looking to lift my game up even a bit more," Clijsters, who won an exhibition match against world number one Caroline Wozniacki in Thailand last week, told reporters.

"I'm happy with the level that I played and with my intensity and my focus and everything. It was a good match today."

Twice grand slam champion Svetlana Kuznetsova also reached the second round by beating 2009 Australian Open quarter-finalist Jelena Dokic 6-2 6-2.

The Russian's victory over wildcard Dokic, who has been suffering from a stomach virus, earned her a second-round tie against Australian number one Sam Stosur or Clijsters' compatriot Yanina Wickmayer.

(Reporting by Nick Mulvenney; Editing by Alastair Himmer)