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Zheng Saisai scores dominant first round win at Australian Open

CHINA'S Zheng Saisai has powered into the second round at the Australian Open, with a searing straight sets win over German Carina Witthoeft here on Tuesday.

Zheng became the third Chinese player in the women's draw to book a place in round two, after fellow countrywomen Wang Qiang beat American Sloane Stephens and Han Xinyun breezed over Colombian Mariana Duque on Day 1.

Zheng, China' s highest ranked player at 83rd, dominated Witthoeft from start to finish, winning 6-1, 6-2 in an hour and 13 minutes.

It' s the first time the Shaanxi native has been past the first round of a major championship since the 2014 U.S. Open.

The 21-year-old rushed through the first set in 26 minutes, winning twice as many points as her opponent.

It took until the sixth game of the opening set for Witthoeft to get on the board.

Zheng quickly raced ahead in the second, breaking in the fourth game of the set.

Some errant hitting by Witthoeft proved costly for the 20-year-old, who managed a surprise run to the third round at last year's Australian Open after she beat world number 10 Carla Suarez Navarro in the opening round.

The young German hit an astonishing 36 unforced errors to Zheng' s 17.

Zheng now has the chance to capitalize on the demise of the American 8-seed Venus Williams, who would have been her second round opponent if not for a shock loss to Johanna Konta.

However, Konta said wasn't underestimating her next opponent, who made the last 16 at the U.S. Open in 2015.

"I don't know (if I can go deep into the tournament). Konta is playing really good, if she can beat Venus that means something," Zheng who speaks almost fluent English told the press.

"It's has to be a really tough match."

It's not the first time the pair have met, having played in the third round of the French Open qualification in 2013.

Zheng said she hadn't looked at the tape of Konta's 6-4, 6-2 demolition of the 7-time Grand Slam champion earlier today, but would do her research on the 24-year-old before the match.

Later tonight, Zhang Shuai has a chance to become the fourth Chinese player to make the second round, but will have to overcome world number two Simona Halep.


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