28th seeded Flavia Pennetta showed all the class and style that took her to the top ten before wrist surgery took her out of the game for 6 months last year, when she defeated 9th seeded Angelique Kerber in the first match on Rod Laver Arena on Sunday afternoon. The Italian broke early in the first set to lead 2-1 and did not give the German another chance. Pennetta served out the set at 6-1 in just 24 minutes. Playing in cool 19° cloudy weather, Kerber then went off court. In the second set the dogged German got a break in the first game, but this was followed by breaks on both sides of the net until Kerber held for 2-2. Two further breaks ensued until the Italian got to 4-3. Kerber then held and broke again to sneak the set at 6-4. In the decider the German got the first break to lead 2-1, but Pennetta to level and go 3-2 ahead. Kerber held, Penetta led 4-3 and then the Italian forced another break to go 5-3 up. Kerber broke back to love and again levelled at 5-5. Pennetta got to 6-5 and got a final break to seal the set at 7-5.
Na Li, the 4th seed, took out the 22nd seeded Russian leftie, Elena Makarova, in the first match on Hisense Arena. She won a routine first set 6-2 in 35 minutes and did not allow Makarova a game in the second, which she took in just 24 minutes. She will meet Pannetta in the quarter finals.