Defending champion Clijsters wins opening match

By the Associated Press | January 16, 2012 | 2:33 AM EST

MELBOURNE, Australia (AP) — Kim Clijsters began her bid to defend the Australian Open title when she beat qualifier Maria Joao Koehler 7-5, 6-1 in a first-round match Monday.

Clijsters broke Koehler's serve at love in the final game of the opening set.

That started a 13-point run for Clijsters that included three double-faults by Koehler in the second game of the second set to give the Belgian a 2-0 lead.

Clijsters has not lost in the first round of a major since the 2000 French Open.