Miami, 25 March 2011 | AFP

French Open finalist Samantha Stosur defeated China’s Zheng Jie 6-2 6-1 on Thursday to reach the third round of the $9 million WTA and ATP Miami Masters Series hardcourt tournament.

The fourth seed, ranked fifth in the world, has played the Miami quarterfinals for the past two editions, losing to the eventual champion on both occasions, Victoria Azarenka in 2009 and Kim Clijsters last year.

Stosur has been getting off to fast starts, having won her opening match at her previous seven events.

The Australian took just 58 minutes to advance as she never faced a break point but broke her Chinese opponent’s serve on six of a dozen chances.

Stosur next plays Lucie Safarova, who beat Swiss veteran Patty Schnyder 6-2 6-4. Stosur has lost all three of her matches against the 31st-ranked Czech.

The loss was the fifth for Zheng this season, with the Chinese player managing only two wins.

The wrist surgery patient now stands 59th on the WTA list. her lowest since 2008 Wimbledon Zheng was a Miami quarter-finalist in 2006.

Meanwhile, Dinara Safina has knocked Jelena Dokic out in straight sets, 6-4 6-4, while 28th seed Jarmila Groth is yet to play her second-round match against Yaroslava Shvedova. Groth enjoyed a first-round bye.

In other matches, 10th seed Shahar Peer was bundled out in her first match, losing to Spain’s Anabel Medina Garrigues 6-2 6-2 while 11th seed Svetlana Kuznetsova bounced back after a first-round defeat at Indian Wells to dispatch Romanian Simona Halep 6-0 6-4.

Slovak Daniela Hantuchova put out American Melanie Oudin 6-1 6-3 while Czech Klara Zakopalova accounted for Britain’s Elena Baltacha 7-6(4) 6-3.

Men were playing in the first round, with seeds all given byes.