Petkovic sets up likely Sharapova match

German Andrea Petkovic is on a collision course with five-time tennis grand slam winner Maria Sharapova at the Brisbane International.

The world No.24 made short work of Brazil’s Teliana Pereira in an opening round clash at Pat Rafter Arena on Sunday, winning 6-1 6-2.

Petkovic will next meet the winner of the all-Russian affair between defending event champion Sharapova and Ekaterina Makarova.

The 28-year-old Petkovic, a regular in Brisbane who reached the final in 2011, took just one hour and 18 minutes to dispatch world No.46 Pereira.

Sharapova is expected to play her opening match of the season against Makarova on Monday.

Another player safely through to the second round is former Australian Open finalist Dominika Cibulkova, who overcame a spirited performance by Belgium’s Yanina Wickmayer.

The Slovakian, who missed four months of 2015 after undergoing achilles surgery, defeated Wickmayer 3-6 6-4 6-4 in a testing first match of the season.

The Slovakian world No.38 will now face the winner of the match between Italian eighth seed Roberta Vinci and former world No.1 Jelena Jankovic.

Swiss fifth seed Timea Bacsinszky has been bounced out of the tournament though, losing to 2013 Brisbane finalist Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova.

The Russian took just more than an hour to beat world No.12 Bacsinszky 6-2 6-1.

Pavlyuchenkova will now play France’s Alize Cornet in the second round after Cornet beat compatriot Kristina Mladenovic 6-3 6-4.

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