Mirza-Strycova kick off Oz Open campaign with thumping win

| Updated: Aug 23, 2017 11:20 IST

Melbourne [Australia], Jan.18 (ANI): Indian tennis ace Sania Mirza and her partner Barbora Strycova of Czech Republic produced a solid performance to storm into the second round of the women's doubles event at the Australian Open here on Wednesday. The fourth-seed Indo-Czech pair registered a comfortable 6-3, 6-1 win over Jocelyn Rae and Anna Smith of Great Britain in a one-sided opening round contest that lasted exactly an hour. Sania and Strycova will next play against the winners of the first round match between the Australian pair of Kimberly Birrell-Priscilla Hon and Australian-Chinese duo of Samantha Stosur-Shuai Zhang. Mirza is looking to clinch her second consecutive Australian Open women's doubles title this year. She lifted the crown last year with Switzerland's Martina Hingis. Earlier in the day, world number one Angelique Kerber survived an early scare from Germany's Carina Witthoft to book her place in the third of the first major of the season. It was the second consecutive three-set affair for Kerber, who was also pushed to the limit by Lesia Tsurenko in the first round. After comfortably winning the first set, Kerber went down in the second one before bouncing back in style to claim a 6-2 , 6-7 (3-7), 6-2 win over her German opponent in the second round contest that lasted two hour and eight minutes at Melbourne Park. The top-seeded will now lock horns with Czech's Kristyna Pliskova. (ANI)