AO 1st Rd: Petra comes good to blow by Rybarikova

Petra Kvitova, the No.8 seed, moved through to the second round of the Australian Open thanks to a 6-3, 6-2 victory over Magdalena Rybarikova.

The champion of Sydney from last week won the opening two games of a match switched to the 1573 Arena but struggled to find her rhythm against her 30-year-old opponent, who did her best to hang onto the powerful Czech.

In a whirlwind second, the WTA World No.6 found her best level and amid an avalanche of winners moved through in only 67 minutes.

She was not at her best in the opening set, with her usually reliable serve misfiring. Indeed, she served as many double faults as she did aces and made just 45% of her first deliveries.

With her groundstokes unpredictable, it made for an awkward and error-riddled first that saw the WTA World No.8 largely on top though coming through only thanks to a single break of serve.

The Kvitova who stormed brilliantly to victory at the Sydney International by beating Ashleigh Barty on Saturday was far more evident in the second, despite losing the opening game to love.

Her first serve regained its accuracy and, consequently, her opponent was not given a single serious look of getting back into the match once she had been broken at 1-1. Indeed, Kvitova had two chances to move a double break clear in the fifth game only for Rybarikova to win four points in succession.

But the form of the 28-year-old was now irresistible as she found winners from all over the court with unerring accuracy. A double break was soon added and she confidently stormed through when serving for the match, finishing the second set with an incredible 19 winners to just six unforced errors.

Irina-Camelia Begu is up next for Kvitova, whose second-set performance will have made others sit up and take note.