Serena powers past Gavrilova

Sharapova has it easy against Garcia

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.

Third-ranked Sharapova broke serve in the first game against France's Caroline Garcia before winning 6-3, 6-2.

World No 1 Victoria Azarenka was emphatic in her second round win on Wednesday, beating Switzerland's Romina Oprandi 6-2, 6-3.

In other second round matches, Italy’s Sara Errani, the sixth seed, beat Hungary's Timea Babos 6-4, 6-0, 11th-seeded Russian Nadia Petrova put out Taipei's Su-Wei Hsieh 3-6, 6-2, 6-4, while Czech Klara Zakopalova outlasted Australian Open semifinalist and the tournament's 16th-seed American Sloane Stephens 4-6, 7-6, 7-6.

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.

Results (prefix denotes seeding): Qatar Open (second round): 10-Caroline Wozniacki (Den) bt Sorana Cirstea (Rom) 7-6 (7-5), 6-0; Daniela Hantuchova (Slo) bt Ekaterina Bychkova (Rus) 6-3, 1-6, 6-3; Urszula Radwanska (Pol) bt 15-Roberta Vinci (Ita) 6-2, 5-7, 6-0; 7-Petra Kvitova (Cze) bt Ekaterina Makarova (Rus) 6-4, 0-0 (retd hurt); 1-Victoria Azarenka (Blr) bt Romina Oprandi (Sui) 6-2, 6-3; Klara Zakopalova (Cze) bt 16-Sloane Stephens (US) 4-6, 7-6 (7-5), 7-6 (7-5); 11-Nadia Petrova (Rus) bt Hsieh Su-Wei (Tai) 3-6, 6-2, 6-4; 13-Ana Ivanovic (Srb) bt Simona Halep (Rom) 6-3, 0-0 (retd hurt); Christina Mchale (US) bt 17-Lucie Safarova (Cze) 6-4, 6-2; 4-Agnieszka Radwanska (Pol) bt Anastasia Rodionova (Aus) 6-3, 6-2; 6-Sara Errani (Ita) bt Timea Babos (Hun) 6-4, 6-0.

World Indoor Tournament (first round): 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).

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