Brisbane Open: Dimitrov dumps Simon, Azarenka cruises past Vesnina

The Bulgarian – a beaten finalist in 2013 and semi-finalist 12 months ago – wasted no time in making waves in the opening tournament of 2016, sending his seeded opponent packing 6-3 7-6 (12-10) win.

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Grigor Dimitrov edged a tight affair against the world number 15 with the only break of the opening set in the fourth game, having saved three of his own in the previous game.

Grigor Dimitrov began his latest quest for glory at the Brisbane International with a hard-fought victory over fifth seed Gilles Simon.

The Bulgarian – a beaten finalist in 2013 and semi-finalist 12 months ago – wasted no time in making waves in the opening tournament of 2016, sending his seeded opponent packing 6-3 7-6 (12-10) win.

Dimitrov edged a tight affair against the world number 15 with the only break of the opening set in the fourth game, having saved three of his own in the previous game.

After a break apiece at the start of the second, both players missed chances to move ahead, but in the tie-break it was Dimitrov – who served eight aces in the match – who prevailed on his sixth match point. 

German qualifier Tobias Kamke is also through to round two after a straight-sets triumph over Benjamin Mitchell, the world number 233 winning 6-2 6-4 to set up a clash with top seed Roger Federer.

Monday also saw victories for Denis Kudla and Chung Hyeon over John-Patrick Smith and Sam Groth respectively, Kudla coming from behind to seal his progress 4-6 6-3 6-2.

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Kerber recovers against Giorgi

Two-time Brisbane International finalist Victoria Azarenka cruised into the second round on Monday with a comprehensive straight-sets win over Elena Vesnina.

After climbing back towards the top 20 last year, Azarenka made a positive start to her 2016 campaign with a strong display of baseline hitting as she cruised to a 6-2 6-0 victory.

Vesnina started well to take the opening two games of the match, but that was as good as it got for the Russian, Azarenka turning the screw.

The world number 22 reeled off 12 successive games to book her place in the second round, creating 13 break-point chances along the way. 

Fourth seed Angelique Kerber was given a scare in her opening match of the year as Camila Giorgi took the opening set of their first-round match, but Kerber responded well to claim a 5-7 6-3 6-0 win.

All of the seeds in action on Monday made it through to round two, only Roberta Vinci dropping a set as she – like Kerber – came from a set down to beat Jelena Jankovic 3-6 6-2 6-4.

Carla Suarez Navarro and Belinda Bencic both raced to straight-sets victories against Ajla Tomljanovic and Sara Errani respectively, while there were also wins for Samantha Crawford, Madison Brengle and home favourite Sam Stosur.

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