Top-seeded Sabine Lisicki of Germany beat French wild-card entry Virginie Razzano 6-4, 6-4 Monday in the first round of the ASB Classic.
The 22-year-old Lisicki, who lifted her world ranking from 218 to 15 in 2011 as she recovered from an ankle injury, struggled to assert her powerful service game before beating Razzano in 85 minutes.
''It's always tough to play the first match of the season,'' Lisicki said. ''I was struggling a little with my serve but that means there is still a bit to work on and improve which is a good thing.''
Lisicki gained control of the first set with an early service break and rallied from a break down to win the second set in 41 minutes.
Former world No. 4 Jelena Dokic suffered a setback in her preparation for the Australian Open when she was beaten 7-6 (5), 6-1 by unseeded Mona Barthel, who faces compatriot Lisicki in the second round.
''I've never played her but I think it will be a great match for me,'' Barthel said.
Barthel, ranked 69, squandered...