Sydney - World No 8 Petra Kvitova's Australian Open preparations were
dealt another blow Sunday when she was trounced in straight sets at the
Sydney International by Slovakia's Dominika Cibulkova.
Czech Kvitova, the 2011 Wimbledon champion, continued her form slump in
Sydney, losing 6-1, 6-1 to Cibulkova in little more than an hour.
follows her surprise second-round exit from this month's Brisbane
International, where she fell 6-4, 7-5 to Russia's Anastasia
Pavlyuchenkova, and her withdrawal from November's WTA Championships in
Istanbul due to illness.
"I played really badly and I wish I knew what I could say but I don't know," Kvitova said after the Sydney match.
not feeling very well right now, in my confidence, but I'm always
looking forward to playing Grand Slams and I hope everything will be
better there than here."
Denmark's Caroline Wozniacki had more
luck, downing Urszula Radwanska 6-1, 6-2 in a powerful return to form
that saw her take the first set in just 26 minutes.
Kirilenko and Ekaterina Makarova also posted wins, progressing to the
second round by overcoming, respectively, Australian wildcard Olivia
Rogowska 7-5, 6-2 and America's Varvara Lepchenko 6-4, 4-6, 6-1.
seed Wozniacki was ousted at Brisbane after an epic first-round battle
with Kazakh qualifier Ksenia Pervak, losing valuable practice time for
the Australian Open.
The Dane said she was relieved to notch a win ahead of the season's first Grand Slam, which begins in Melbourne next Monday.
was quite hot out there, especially towards the end of the second set
you could really feel it was starting to heat up," said the former world No 1.
"I'm just happy to get the first win of the season under my belt and just move on."
said she was hopeful of regaining the top ranking despite an inconsistent
2012 in which she exited Wimbledon and the US Open in the first round.
myself, I believe I can get back there," she said. "But it's a lot of
hard work and there are a lot of great players so you never know what's
going to happen," she added.
"The most important thing is that
you're healthy and I'm going to play as best I can and win as many
tournaments as I can and the ranking will come if you play well."
Wozniacki's boyfriend Rory McIlroy, golf's world No 1, watched her victory from the stands.
pair fuelled speculation they were engaged last month when Wozniacki
was photographed with a large ring on her left ring finger ahead of the
In November McIlroy skipped the $7m
WGC-HSBC Champions to watch Wozniacki play tennis in Bulgaria, and she
then followed him to tournaments in Singapore and Hong Kong.
Danish women often wear wedding rings on their right hand, and
Wozniacki is also known for her penchant for practical jokes.
McIlroy was due to fly out of Australia on Sunday night to start preparing for the Abu Dhabi golf championship later this month.