Serena powers past Gavrilova

Serena powers past Gavrilova

Sharapova has it easy against Garcia

Serena powers past Gavrilova

Serena Williams began her campaign to return to world number one at the Qatar Open by beating Russian Daria Gavrilova while Maria Sharapova, among the American's rivals for top spot, also progressed on Tuesday.

Second-seed Williams, who will reclaim the number one position if she reaches the semifinals, enjoyed a 6-2, 6-1 second-round win against the 160th-ranked Gavrilova.
Question marks hung over the world number two's fitness heading into the event after she lost in the Australian Open quarterfinal last month while suffering with back and ankle injuries.

"Mostly I've just been trying to play smoothly and avoid problems, and just do the things I've been working on," Williams said on the WTA website. "Physically I'm feeling better, and hopefully I can stay on that level. Let's go onto the next round now."
Third-ranked Sharapova broke serve in the first game against France's Caroline Garcia before winning 6-3, 6-2.

Sania-Mattek-Sands exit

Sania Mirza and her American partner Bethanie Mattek-Sands went down 4-6, 2-6 to American pair Lisa Raymond and Aussie Samantha Stosur in the women’s doubles on Tuesday night.

Del Potro progresses

Second seed Juan Martin Del Potro, aiming to go one better than his runner-up finish at last year's World Indoor Tournament in Rotterdam, eased past Frenchman Gael Monfils 6-3, 6-4 in the first round on Tuesday. The world number seven was in command from the moment he broke serve in the second game. "I chose to approach the net a lot and that went well for me," Del Potro said.

"I needed to do that against Gael who is definitely on his way back. It won't take him long before he is battling for a top-10 spot again," added the Argentine.

Results (World Indoor Tournament, first round, prefix denote seedings): Jarkko Nieminen (Fin) bt David Goffin (Bel) 6-0, 6-0; 2-Juan Martin Del Potro (Arg) bt Gael Monfils (Fra) 6-3, 6-4; Ernests Gulbis (Lat) bt Robin Haase (Ned) 6-2, 6-1; Julien Benneteau (Fra) bt Tobias Kamke (Ger) 6-3, 6-2; Thiemo de Bakker (Ned) bt Mikhail Youzhny (Rus) 3-6, 7-6(2), 4-1 (Youzhny retired).