Serena eases through in Dubai

Serena Williams booked the first spot in third round of the Dubai Duty Free Tennis Championship on Tuesday, beating Russian Ekaterina Makarova in straight sets.

The world No 1, who benefited from a first-round bye, was trailing during the first set but managed to hold on for an eventual 7-6 6-0 win over Makarova in the only second-round match of the day in Dubai.

As the first round continued, fifth seed Jelena Jankovic disposed of qualifier Maryna Zanevska 6-4 6-3.

Serbian Ana Ivanovic fell behind after losing the first set to sixth seeded German Angelique Kerber before claiming a 3-6 6-3 7-6 victory in just under two hours to progress to the second round.

German qualifier Annika Beck produced a determined fightback to ensure her continued presence in the tournament with a 1-6 6-1 6-4 win over Australian Sam Stosur.

Beck will now face eighth seed Caroline Wozniacki in the second round, although the Dane needed to show her mettle too after losing the opening set, eventually seeing off 2013 Wimbledon finalist Sabine Lisicki 2-6 6-3 6-3.

It was a good day for another qualifier as Flavia Pennetta defeated Kaia Kanepi 7-5 6-4 to earn herself a clash with second seed Agnieszka Radwanska.

Belgian Kirsten Flipkens saw off Czech qualifier Karolina Pliskova with a 6-1 7-5 victory but world No 9 Simona Halep was forced to retire with an Achilles injury early in the second set of her clash with Alize Cornet.

The Romanian received treatment after being broken in the fifth game of the opening set, which she went on the lose 6-1, and called it a day at 1-1 in the second.