Cibulkova, Wozniacki win in Sydney
World No. 6 Dominika Cibulkova of Slovakia dropped just two games in blistering heat to win her opening match at the Sydney International yesterday.
The diminutive Cibulkova, who upset world No. 1 Angelique Kerber to win the WTA finals in Singapore last October, swept past Germany's world No. 31 Laura Siegemund 6-2, 6-0.
Cibulkova, who lost to China's Li Na in the 2014 Australian Open final, will next play Canadian wildcard Eugenie Bouchard in the second round of the WTA lead-in tournament to next week's Australian Open.
"When you start a season, you always start with some confidence, not doubt, but you always need to get into this match rhythm," said Cibulkova.
"It's not easy if I would expect myself to play like I did in the (WTA) final against Kerber, I think that would be too much expectation.
"This is the time of the year when you just have to warm up yourself in the matches."
Cibulkova, who lost to Agnieszka Radwanska in the Sydney final four years ago, was knocked out in the quarter-finals of last week's Brisbane International by France's Alize Cornet in straight sets.
Kerber and Radwanska, the top two seeds, received a bye into the second round at Sydney.
Former world No. 1 and seventh seed Caroline Wozniacki dumped Olympic champion and last year's finalist Monica Puig out of the tournament 6-3, 2-6, 6-4.
Puig, who lost to Russia's Svetlana Kuznetsova in last year's final, had 12 break-point opportunities but could convert only three, while Wozniacki put away three of four break-points.
British sixth seed Johanna Konta outclassed Australian Arina Rodionova 6-3, 6-4, while fellow Australian Sam Stosur again bombed out in the first round, going out 6-3, 6-1 to Russia's Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova. - AFP