THERE were a few anxious moments at 4-all in the first set but Sam Stosur's class burst through after disposing of a difficult and unorthodox Monica Niculescu in her opening round of the Australian Open.
Making her 13th appearance at Melbourne Park, the former world No.4 admitted after her 6-4 6-1 victory in 77 minutes that her Romanian rival had posed a "tricky" challenge because of the way she repeatedly sliced her shots.
Stosur forced a break in the ninth game to take the first set 6-4 and then was in total control of the second set, dropping just one game.
"Definitely the start of the match was pretty tricky," the 20th seed told Channel Seven after the win.
"She (Niculescu) obviously plays a little unorthodox, so it took a little while for me to get used to that."
The Queenslander, who is yet to advance beyond the fourth round of the Open, will now face Coco Vandeweghe.
A few hours later Perth's Casey Dellacqua, who made it through to the fourth round of the Australian Open last year, continued on her great form in Melbourne, taking just over an hour to see off Austrian Yvonne Meusburger 6-4 6-0.
Unfortunately Australia's golden run, with nine players now through to the second round, couldn't continue for Melbourne-born Olivia Rogowska.
The 23-year-old of Polish decent went down 6-4 6-1 to American Nicole Gibbs.
AUSSIES IN ACTION
Thanasi Kokkinakis v Sam Groth
Marinko Matosevic v Andy Murray
James Duckworth v Richard Gasquet
Bernard Tomic v Philipp Kohlschreiber
Jarmila Gajdosova v Simona Halep
Nick Kyrgios v Ivo Karlovic
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