Brisbane, Australia (Sports Network) - Victoria Azarenka was an easy winner
Wednesday in the second round of the season-opening Brisbane International.
The top seed and world No. 1 opened her 2013 campaign with a 6-3, 6-3 victory
over German Sabine Lisicki. Azarenka, who won this event in 2009, had a bye
into the second round as she begins preparations to defend her Australian Open
It was a banner 2012 for Azarenka, who added five other WTA titles to her
first Grand Slam championship. She also won the Aussie Open tune-up in Sydney,
as well as tournaments in Doha, Indian Wells, Beijing and Linz, while
finishing as a runner-up three times -- the last coming at the U.S. Open.
Next up for the Belarus star will be Kazakhstan's Ksenia Pervak, who had
advanced to the quarterfinals on Tuesday with a three-set win over Urszula
Radwanska. Pervak, who first had to qualify for the main draw, also upset
former world No. 1 Caroline Wozniacki in the first round earlier this week.
Germany's Angelique Kerber, American Sloane Stephens and Ukrainian lucky loser
Lesia Tsurenko were the other second-round winners Wednesday.
Kerber rallied for a 3-6, 6-4, 7-6 (9-7) victory over Puerto Rican qualifier
Monica Puig. The fourth seed struggled throughout on Wednesday, but was able
to come back from deficits of 1-4 in the third set and 2-5 in the ensuing
tiebreaker to advance to a quarterfinal match against Russian Anastasia
Stephens had little trouble in a 6-3, 6-4 triumph over Sweden's Sofia
Arvidsson, who had knocked off Aussie favorite Samantha Stosur in the first
round. Next up for the 19-year-old Stephens will be fellow American Serena
Williams, who has yet to be tested in her first two matches of the year.
Williams, the third seed, has dropped just seven games in her first two
matches this week and will carry a 14-match winning streak into Thursday's
Tsurenko was given entry into the main draw after second-seeded Maria
Sharapova pulled out of the tournament because of a collarbone injury and took
full advantage with a 1-6, 6-1, 6-4 victory over Australian wild card Jarmila
Gajdosova. She'll next play Slovakian veteran Daniela Hantuchova, last year's
runner-up, in Thursday's quarterfinals.
The Sports Network