SYDNEY (AFP) - Rising French teenager Alize Cornet added Russian Nadia Petrova to her growing list of top-ranked scalps with a straight sets opening round victory at the Sydney WTA International on Monday. The 18-year-old put paid to the tournament seventh seed 6-2, 6-4 after overcoming her fear of playing with an inflamed shoulder that has plagued her for the last two months. Nursing an ice pack on her right shoulder, Cornet discounted any fitness concerns ahead of next week's Australian Open in Melbourne. "It comes and goes for the last two months, so I'm pretty okay," Cornet said. "I was a bit scared yesterday to practise because it hurt me really hard. "But the physio told me to test it in today's match and if after 15 minutes I felt feel better to play on."I felt okay on the court, so I was really relieved. I just have to put on some ice, it's nothing serious, it's just some inflammation." She was one of the big movers in women's tennis last year, finishing 2008 at a career-high 16th in the rankings after starting the season at 57th. Cornet got past top-10 players Svetlana Kuznetsova and Anna Chakvetadze on the way to the final of last May's Italian Open final where she lost to Jelena Jankovic. "I have a lot of goals, because I had a lot of improvement last year," she said."I was in the top 20 at the end of the year, so it was a really good year for me." Cornet's next assignment comes against Alisa Kleybanova, who won an all-Russian opener against Maria Kirilenko in straight sets. Second seed Dinara Safina cruised through her opening match, dropping just three games in downing Romanian Sorana Cirstea, 6-2, 6-1. "Now I have played many matches I still feel that I can improve and feel that there is a room to be more aggressive," Safina said. "I'm just trying to play as many matches as I can and to get 100 percent for the Australian Open." World number four Elena Dementieva struggled early for rhythm before she overcame fellow Russian Ekaterina Makarova 7-5, 6-1 to advance to a second round meeting with Slovakian Jarmila Gajdosova. Dementieva said she found it tough to adjust to the different conditions after winning an all-Russian ASB Classic final against Elena Vesnina in Auckland last Saturday. "It was really tough to come and play just the next day," Dementieva said. "But I'm glad I won in two sets. It felt much better at the end of the match." Another Russian, world number seven Vera Zvonareva withdrew from the tournament with a gastrointestinal illness and was replaced in the draw by Anastasiya Yakimova of Belarus. "It's been bothering me the last few days, but just got to the point today where I felt like I could not perform," Zvonareva said."I wish more than anything to play in the tournament before the first grand slam of the year, but I have to take care of this so I can try to play the Australian Open next week."