Williams ends 2013 on a winning note

Serena Williams headed into 2014 with a win as she got her Brisbane International challenge up and running on Tuesday.

Serena Williams

The top-seeded American, hoping to add to her 17 grand slams next year, was a straight-sets victor over Andrea Petkovic in Queensland.

She was asked how she was shaping up for 2014 after dropping eight games against the German and said: "I was asked the same thing in 2012.

"I had such a good year winning two slams and a gold and two doubles.

"I just didn't think I could do better. I'm just going to be up for that challenge again."

Elsewhere in the women's draw, the fourth-seeded Jelena Jankovic breezed past Elina Svitolina 6-1 6-3, while Dominika Cibulkova saw off the veteran Japanese player Kimiko Date Krumm 6-3 1-6 6-3.

Kaia Kanepi also prevailed in straight sets against Carla Suarez-Navarro.

The men's competition saw home favourite Lleyton Hewitt beat Thanasi Kokkinakis 6-3 7-5, with fellow Australian Matthew Ebden also impressive as he saw off Alex Kuznetsov 6-3 6-4.

The sixth-seeded Feliciano Lopez was a straight-sets victor against Mikhail Kukushkin, with Jeremy Chardy beating Adrian Mannarino in an all-French clash in a similar manner.

There were also wins for Nicolas Mahut and Marius Copil over Dutchman Igor Sijsling and Japan's Yuichi Sugita respectively.

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