Li advances in Sydney

Former champion Li Na worked hard to beat Christina McHale 7-6 (7-2) 7-5 in round one of the Apia International in Sydney on Monday.

Former champion Li Na worked hard to beat Christina McHale 7-6 (7-2) 7-5 in round one of the Apia International in Sydney on Monday.

While Li survived an early scare in the competition, some of the more high profile players didn't enjoy the same level of success.

Russia's Nadia Petrova was upset by world number 16 Roberta Vinci 7-5 7-5, while American Madison Keys - ranked 134 in the world - beat world number 17 Lucie Safarova 6-2 6-1 in what was a surprisingly one-sided affair.

World number 20 Yanina Wickmayer lost 3-6 7-6 (8-6) 6-2 to tournament qualifier Galina Voskoboeva. Ayumi Morita, another qualifier, also came from a set down to beat world number 43 Daniela Hantuchova 1-6 6-3 6-3.

World number 18 Julia Goerges also failed to advance against a lower ranked opponent, when she lost to world number 71 Svetlana Kuznetsova 3-6 6-3 6-3 in her first round clash.

The only other player to bring some form of respectability to the early set of first round results at the Apia International was former world number one Jelena Jankovic, who beat Tamira Paszek 6-2 7-6 (8-6) 6-2.

On the men's side, Denis Istomin needed to save nine out of 10 break points before eventually beating wildcard James Duckworth 6-7 (4/6) 6-4 7-6 (7/3).

Fifth seed Florian Mayer progressed with a straightforward 6-1 6-2 victory over qualifier Joao Sousa, while number eight Marcel Granollers came from behind to beat wildcard Matthew Ebden 5-7 7-5 6-1.

Julien Benneteau advanced with a 6-3 5-7 6-2 win over Pablo Andujar.