Perth, WA, 2 January 2012 | AAP

The Czech Republic lived up to their Hopman Cup No.1 seeding, racing out to an unassailable 2-0 lead in their tie against Bulgaria in Perth on Monday.

World No.2 Petra Kvitova powered past Bulgaria’s Tsvetana Pironkova 6-4 6-2 before world No.7 Tomas Berdych overcame a plucky Grigor Dimitrov in three tough sets, 6-4 6-7 (9-11) 6-3.

Dimitrov put up a good fight throughout the high-quality 125-minute contest, saving two match points in the second set tiebreak before being outgunned in the third set.

“He was playing really well,” Berdych said of Dimitrov.

“He’s going to be really dangerous this year.

“But I’m pretty happy to start the year with a win. It gives you more confidence to have the first win of the year.”

Earlier, Kvitova needed just 75 minutes to defeat Pironkova, with the comprehensive victory giving the Wimbledon champion a perfect start to 2012 after her breakthrough 2011 campaign.

Pironkova looked hesitant at times and didn’t have the guns to match Kvitova, who was far more clinical with her ground strokes.