Melbourne: Ace Indian tennis star Sania Mirza and her Croatian partner Ivan Dodig kicked off their Australian Open campaign with straight sets victory in their mixed doubles opening clash here at the Melbourne Park on Saturday.
The Indo-Croatian pair produced a resilient performance throughout the match to record a comfortable 7-5, 6-4 triumph over German-Croatian team of Laura Siegemund and Mate Pavic in the opening-round clash that lasted one hour and 25 minutes.
Mirza and Dodig will now lock horns with the winners of another mixed doubles clash between Chinese-Austria team of Saisai Zheng and Alexander Peya and the Australian duo of Sally Peers and John Peers.
In women's singles event, American tennis star and former world number one Serena Williams hammered fellow countrywoman Nicole Gibbs in straight sets to storm into the pre-quarterfinals.
Serena, who is bidding to surpass Steffi Graf's Open era record of 22 Grand Slam titles, posted a solid 6-1, 6-3 win over her American opponent in the last-32 clash that lasted about one hour.
Serena will now take on Barbora Strycova of Czech Republic for place in the quarterfinals.