Tennis

Published: Monday May 5, 2014 MYT 12:42:42 AM
Updated: Monday May 5, 2014 MYT 12:43:22 AM

Serena coasts past Swiss qualifier in Madrid opener

MADRID (Reuters) - Top seed and defending champion Serena Williams cruised past teenage qualifier Belinda Bencic into the Madrid Open second round on Sunday as the world number one began her quest for a 60th career title.

American Williams, who is chasing a third consecutive triumph at the premier clay event in the Spanish capital, dispatched the 17-year-old Swiss, ranked 98th, 6-2 6-1 to set up a meeting with unseeded Chinese Peng Shuai.

Bencic, the youngest player in the Madrid draw who is making her debut at the tournament, broke the Williams serve once in the opening set but crumbled thereafter and lost her own five times.

Williams was joined in the second round by Czech fifth seed Petra Kvitova, who had a tough test against unseeded Romanian Sorana Cirstea before coming through 6-1 5-7 7-6.

Maria Sharapova of Russia, the eighth seed, and 11th-seeded Serb Ana Ivanovic also went through, seeing off Czech Klara Koukalova and American Madison Keys respectively.

(Reporting by Iain Rogers, editing by Ed Osmond)

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