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Clijsters returns to WTA circuit with convincing straight sets win in Brisbane

updated 6:36 AM EST, Sun January 1, 2012
Kim Clijsters plays a return during her straight sets win over Simona Halep in Brisbane.
Kim Clijsters plays a return during her straight sets win over Simona Halep in Brisbane.
STORY HIGHLIGHTS
  • Kim Clijsters returns to WTA circuit with straight sets win
  • Belgian favorite beats Simona Halep 6-1 6-4 in Brisbane
  • Former World No.1 Serena Williams returns to action Monday
  • Andy Murray tops the men's seeds in Queensland

(CNN) -- Kim Clijsters returned to competitive action on the WTA Tour with a convincing straight sets win over Simona Halep in Brisbane Sunday.

The Belgian has not played on the circuit since August after a 2011 ruined by a series of injuries, but showed no sign in a 6-1 6-4 victory.

"I felt that I was playing aggressively and moving well. I was pretty satisfied," Clijsters told the official tournament website.

Clijsters, the 2010 champion in Brisbane, is using the tournament as build-up to her defense of the Australian Open crown.

The 28-year-old claimed her fourth grand slam title in Melbourne last January, but an ankle injury hampered her French Open campaign, where she was beaten in the second round, and she missed Wimbledon.

Returning ahead of the U.S. Open, Clijsters then suffered an abdominal problem, which ruled her out of her title defense.

After beating Romanian Halep, she said that the injury was no longer hampering her service.

The curse of women's No.1?

"I felt confident with my serve. I think that's something that, in the past, wasn't always the case."

Four breaks of service always had her 47th-ranked opponent on the back foot and she will next play either former World No.1 Ana Ivanovic or Austria's Tamira Paszek in the second round.

13-time grand slam winner Serena Williams is also on the comeback trail at the joint ATP/WTA tournament, playing for the first time since her dramatic September 11 loss to Samantha Stosur in the U.S. Open final.

Williams opens Monday against South African Chanelle Scheepers and could face home hope Stosur in the semifinals.

In men's action Sunday, third seed Alexandr Dolgopolov of the Ukraine eased past Alejandro Falla of Colombia 7-6 6-2.

Top seed Andy Murray of Britain will begin his campaign Tuesday, playing his first match since choosing Ivan Lendl as his full-time coach.

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