Kuznetsova defeats Kleybanova

Updated: January 10, 2010, 2:17 AM ET
Associated Press

SYDNEY -- French Open champion Svetlana Kuznetsova beat fellow Russian Alisa Kleybanova 6-2, 6-7 (3), 7-5 on Sunday in the first round of the Sydney International.

The third-seeded Kuznetsova, also the 2004 U.S. Open winner, trailed 2-0 in the deciding set before breaking back to take control.

Slovakia's Daniela Hantuchova cruised to a 6-3, 6-0 victory over France's Virginie Razzano, and defending champion Elena Dementieva, who beat Kuznetsova last year in the Sydney final, topped Italian Francesca Schiavone 6-2, 7-5.

Top-seeded Serena Williams, who had a first-round bye, is scheduled to play her first singles match Tuesday. Williams was drawn for a potential second-round match against Justine Henin, but Henin injured her left leg Saturday in her Brisbane International final loss to Kim Clijsters and pulled out of the Sydney event.

Copyright 2010 by The Associated Press