Lisicki, Bouchard safely through


An inconsistent Sabine Lisicki ultimately dispatched Magda Linette in straight sets on Monday to reach the second round of the Malaysian Open, where she was joined by Eugenie Bouchard.

Third seed Lisicki overcame Linette 6-4 7-6 (7-5) while Bouchard got the better of Zhang Ling 6-3 6-1 at the WTA International event.

Lisicki looked in trouble at 3-1 and a break down in the first set before fighting back impressively to get her nose in front, and she edged a second-set tie-break, having allowed Linette back into the contest when serving for the match at 6-5 up.

Sixth seed Bouchard was a more convincing victor against world number 278 Zhang, breaking her opponent five times in total for a routine win on the indoor hard courts.

Lisicki will now meet Barbora Krejcikova, who saw off Wang Yafan 6-4 1-6 6-2, while Bouchard booked a second-round tie against Kurumi Nara, who edged a hard-fought clash with Daniela Hantuchova 6-4 6-7 (4-7) 7-6 (12-10).

Each player wasted three match points in a thrilling final set, before the Japanese ultimately prevailed.

Hsieh Su-wei, the 2012 champion, defeated Jana Cepelova 6-4 6-4, while fifth seed Nao Hibino was an early casualty, going down 6-4 6-2 to Duan Ying-ying.

The other matches on Monday saw Kristina Kucova see off Stefanie Voegele 7-6 (7-4) 6-4 and Wang Qiang breezed past Luksika Kumkhum 6-2 6-1.