Former Hilton Head Island resident Alison Riske cruised through her opening challenge Monday at the Australian Open, ousting fellow American Madison Brengle in straight sets, 7-5, 6-3.
Riske, ranked No. 42 in the world, broke Brengle’s serve five times on the evening, including three times in the second set. Brengle also hurt her cause with five double faults.
The former Van der Meer Academy student advanced to a second-round match Wednesday against 20th seed Shuai Zhang of China, who romped to a 6-0, 6-3 opening victory over qualifier Aliaksandra Sasnovich of Belarus.
Riske arrived in Melbourne off a runner-up finish at the Shenzhen Open in China, where she upended world No. 3 Agnieszka Radwanska in a quarterfinal meeting. It was her fifth career WTA final and second straight at Shenzhen.
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Brengle’s final tuneup included an upset of Serena Williams in the second round of the ASB Classic in New Zealand.