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WTA Madrid - Azarenka, Sharapova slide into second round

FEATURED COLUMNIST
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725   //    07 May 2012, 10:53 IST

The top two ranked players in the world scored straight sets wins to advance to the second round of the WTA Madrid Open on Sunday.

World No.1 Victoria Azarenka beat former French Open champion Svetlana Kuznetsova for the first time in their three meetings on clay, 76(5) 64. “I was really looking forward to the start of this tournament,” Azarenka commented. “Anywhere I go my goal is to win the tournament, and it’s the same goal here. I did pretty well here last year and hopefully this year I’ll do a little bit better.”

World no. 2 Sharapova, winner in Stuttgart last week, beat Romanian Irina-Camelia Begu 6-0, 6-3.

“The blue clay is obviously different, visually,” Sharapova told the press later. “When you play on red clay for so many years you get used to it, but as tennis players we’re always adjusting to different things and different conditions, so it is what it is. There are some parts of the courts that maybe have a little more clay than other parts, but it’s just the first year, so I’m sure they’re still working kinks out.”

World No.4 Agnieszka Radwanska beat Spanish wildcard Lara Arruabarrena-Vecino, 6-3, 6-1 while world No.6 Caroline Wozniacki needed over three hours to beat Ksenia Pervak, 7-6(7), 3-6, 6-4.

“I went down and rolled my ankle in the first set,” Wozniacki commented. “I could feel the pain. I felt restricted out there, but I just fought as hard as I could, which is all I could do today. I don’t really know how I was able to win the match.

Italian Roberta Vinci upset No.14 seed Dominika Cibulkova, 63 62, while American qualifier Varvara Lepchenko upset No.11 seed and former French Open champion Francesca Schiavone in a two-hour, 44-minute marathon, 6-4, 6-7(8), 6-3.

“It had been a long time since we last played, I think I was only 16 or 17, so I didn’t really know what to expect today,” Lepchenko commented. “But when we played back then it was three sets and I was inexperienced and didn’t know much, and now I’m playing a lot better, so I was a lot more confident going into the match.

MUTUA MADRID OPEN
Sunday, May 6, 2012

Singles – First Round
(1) Victoria Azarenka (BLR) d. Svetlana Kuznetsova (RUS) 7-6(5), 6-4
(2) Maria Sharapova (RUS) d. Irina-Camelia Begu (ROU) 6-0, 6-3
(4) Agnieszka Radwanska (POL) d. (WC) Lara Arruabarrena-Vecino (ESP) 6-3, 6-1
(6) Caroline Wozniacki (DEN) d. Ksenia Pervak (KAZ) 7-6(7) 3-6, 6-4
(Q) Varvara Lepchenko (USA) d. (11) Francesca Schiavone (ITA) 6-4, 6-7(8), 6-3
(12) Angelique Kerber (GER) d. (Q) Johanna Larsson (SWE) 6-1, 6-4
(13) Ana Ivanovic (SRB) d. (Q) Mathilde Johansson (FRA) 6-4, 6-1
Roberta Vinci (ITA) d. (14) Dominika Cibulkova (SVK) 6-3, 6-2
(16) Maria Kirilenko (RUS) d. Zheng Jie (CHN) 6-2, 7-5
Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova (RUS) d. (Q) Jill Craybas (USA) 6-2, 6-7(6), 6-1
Yanina Wickmayer (BEL) d. Jarmila Gajdosova (AUS) 6-2, 6-4
Anabel Medina Garrigues (ESP) d. Tsvetana Pironkova (BUL) 6-0, 6-2
Nadia Petrova (RUS) d. Vania King (USA) 4-6, 6-3, 6-1
Shahar Peer (ISR) d. Polona Hercog (SLO) 6-3, 7-5
(Q) Lourdes Domínguez Lino (ESP) d. Monica Niculescu (ROU) 6-0, 7-6(6)

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