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Aussies, Kiwis start off well

FRESH from her surprising quarterfinal run at the Australian Open, Jelena Dokic led Australia to a 3-0 win over South Korea in the opening round of matches at the Fed Cup Asia-Oceania zonal playoffs.

Dokic, representing Australia at Fed Cup for the first time since 2000, had a 6-0, 6-3 win over Lee Jin-A. Samantha Stosur beat Lee Ye-ra 6-2, 6-4 and then Casey Dellacqua and Rennae Stubbs combined to win the doubles in Perth.

"I could have gone to Europe or America but I made it very clear I wanted to play Fed Cup and I would always make myself available again for Australia, just like I did before," Dokic said. "There was no way for me to miss this opportunity again."

In the other Group B encounter, Tamarine Tanasugarn led Thailand to a 3-0 win over Chinese Taipei.

In Group A, India's chances were reduced when No. 27-ranked Sania Mirza was forced to withdraw with a torn abdomenal muscle ahead of the matches against New Zealand. The New Zealanders won 3-0, while Indonesia had a 2-1 win over Uzbekistan.

The winning team of each pool will play off to determine which country advances to the World Group II playoffs in April.

In Johannesburg, second-seeded David Ferrer won 12 straight games in advancing to the second round of the SA Tennis Open by beating Dudi Sela of Israel 6-2, 6-0 on Tuesday.

On a perfect day for seeds, No. 1 Jo-Wilfried Tsonga of France, No. 5 Jeremy Chardy of France and Belgian No. 7 Kristof Vliegen also won in straight sets.

Spaniard Ferrer was broken in the first game by Sela then had to save three break points in the third just to hold. Then what was living up to a tough draw turned into a rout.

Tsonga hit 11 aces in pasting Thiago Alves of Brazil 6-4, 6-1.

"I have African blood and for me it is very important to be here and help improve the standard of the game here," said Tsonga, who reached the 2008 Australian Open final and this year's quarterfinals.

Countryman Chardy dispatched Jiri Vanek of Czech Republic 6-0, 6-4, and Vliegen outlasted Briton Ross Hutchins 7-6 (3), 6-4.

Ivo Minar of Czech Republic beat South Africa's biggest hope, Kevin Anderson, 7-6 (4), 6-4.

In Zagreb, Croatia, top-seeded Igor Andreev was stunned by 425th-ranked Ivan Dodig 1-6, 4-6 in the first round of the Zagreb Indoors on Tuesday.

Andreev had gone three rounds at the Australian Open, but the Russian said on Tuesday he "wasn't playing my best tennis."

He also complimented Dodig, a Croatian who secured his first win on the main ATP Tour in 75 minutes.

Fifth-seeded Juergen Melzer of Austria, sixth-seeded Andreas Seppi of Italy and his eighth-seeded compatriot Simone Bolelli also lost.


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