The returning Belgians, Kim Clijsters and Justine Henin, enjoyed straight-sets wins over Valérie Tétreault and Kirsten Flipkens respectively.

Maria Kirilenko and her boyfriend, Igor Andreev, refused to look on the bleak side after the singles draw for the Australian Open was made here last week.

"He had Roger Federer and I had Maria Sharapova," Kirilenko said yesterday.

"Before the matches he said we could start the year loudly.

Well, I've already started the year loudly, I think.

Andy Roddick beat the Dutchman Thiemo De Bakker in straight sets and survived a nasty collision with a line judge.

The American was relieved he did no further damage to the knee injury he suffered at the end of last year but was not impressed by the official's behaviour.

"He wasn't really trying to do much to get out of the way," Roddick said.

Now it's his turn."Andreev was due on court earlier today to face Federer and needed only to look to Kirilenko for inspiration after the world No 58's 7-6, 3-6, 6-4 victory over her fellow Russian.

It was Sharapova's earliest defeat in a Grand Slam for seven years and underlined her struggle to return from the shoulder injury that kept her out for more than 10 months.

Sharapova hit 11 double-faults and made 77 unforced errors in her first defeat here since she lost to Serena Williams in the final three years ago.

The world No 14 dismissed the setback as simply "a bad day".