Favourites cruise through second-round contests in the UAE.
Both Serena Williams and Maria Sharapova had few problems qualifying for the third round of the 2013 Qatar Open following comfortable victories.
There was a surprise early on as Angelique Kerber became the first high profile player to be eliminated from the tournament. The fifth seed routed by fellow German Mona Barthel 6-1, 6-2 in just over an hour.
No such problems for 11th-ranked Marion Bartoli, who defeated former French Open champion Francesca Schiavone 7-6 6-3 in their first round match.
The Italian had the upper hand early, racing out to a 4-1 lead. But Bartoli turned things around, eventually taking the first set in a tiebreaker, before a much easier second set.
Third-ranked Maria Sharapova, who won the tournament in her two previous appearances, cruised past French qualifier Caroline Garcia 6-3, 6-2 in the second round.
The Russian broke her 172nd-ranked opponent twice go up 3-0 in the first set. Garcia won the next two games but Sharapova then broke for a third time.
The second set went with serve through the first five games until Sharapova broke to go up 4-2, and she clinched the victory when the Frenchwoman hit a forehand long.
Serena Williams also breezed through to the third round with a solid win.
Williams, who’ll regain the number one ranking if she reaches the semi-finals, showed no signs of the back or ankle problems that troubled her at the Australian Open during her 6-2, 6-1 win over the 160th-ranked qualifier Daria Gavrilova.
Williams broke the Russian to go up 4-2 in the first set and then jumped out to a 5-0 lead in the second:
“It was a good match for me. I played a young girl, I know her really well. We trained at the same academy in Paris. So, it is always tough playing people that you know really well.”