Williams cruises into third round

  • Last Updated: February 18 2014, 20:12 GMT

Top seed Serena Williams progressed to the third round of the Dubai Duty Free Tennis Championships with a straight-sets victory over Russia's Ekaterina Makarova.

Serena: Through to the next round
Serena: Through to the next round

The American world number one, who benefited from a first-round bye, was trailing during the first set but managed to hold on for an eventual 7-6 6-0 win over Makarova in the only second-round match of the day in Dubai.

Russian Makarova knocked out compatriot Alisa Kleybanova in the first round on Monday.

Fifth seed Jelena Jankovic disposed of qualifier Maryna Zanevska in straight sets as she moved into a second-round clash with Lucie Safarova after a 6-4 6-3 victory.

Serbian Ana Ivanovic fell behind after losing the first set to sixth seeded German Angelique Kerber before claiming a 3-6 6-3 7-6 victory in just under two hours to progress to the second round.

Annika Beck produced a determined fightback to ensure her continued presence in the tournament.

The German, who celebrated her 20th birthday a day late on Monday by claiming her first-ever top-20 scalp in the shape of Eugenie Bouchard in the final qualifying round, and added a second with a 1-6 6-1 6-4 win over Australian Sam Stosur.

She will meet eighth seed Caroline Wozniacki in the second round, although the Dane needed to show her mettle too after losing the opening set, eventually seeing off 2013 Wimbledon finalist Sabine Lisicki 2-6 6-3 6-3.

It was a good day for another qualifier as Italy's Flavia Pennetta defeated Kaia Kanepi 7-5 6-4 to earn herself a showdown with second seed Agnieszka Radwanska.

Belgian Kirsten Flipkens saw off qualifier Karolina Pliskova of the Czech Republic with a 6-1 7-5 victory but world number nine Simona Halep, who was seeded seventh, was forced to retire with an Achilles injury early in the second set of her clash with Alize Cornet.

The Romanian received treatment after being broken in the fifth game of the opening set, which she went on the lose 6-1, and called it a day at 1-1 in the second.

She told the tournament website: "I wanted to try because I like to try to fight for my chance, but here I couldn't. After one set, I realised that it is dangerous to continue."

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