WTA: Top-ranked Azarenka goes through to quarter-final

AP, LINZ, Austria

Fri, Oct 12, 2012 - Page 19

Top-ranked Victoria Azarenka started off her last tournament before the season-ending WTA Championships by beating Arantxa Rus of the Netherlands 6-0, 6-2 on Wednesday in the first round of the Generali Ladies.

Two-time former winner Ana Ivanovic also advanced with a 7-5, 6-3 win over Monica Niculescu of Romania.

Coming off her win in Beijing, Azarenka dominated the match from the start as Rus looked overwhelmed. The Dutch player double-faulted eight times and won only two points on her serve in the opening set.

“It was definitely not easy,” Azarenka said. “I’ve done something incredible last week. The court here is different, but I did well to adapt.”

Azarenka, who conceded one break and saved three more break points in the second set, is scheduled to next play Simona Halep of Romania.

“Being No. 1 means you’re more targeted by the other players,” Azarenka said. “I just try to stick to my own game.”

The 12th-ranked Ivanovic, who won the title in 2008 and 2010, dropped serve once in each set, but was in control throughout against Niculescu.

The Serb’s next opponent is Andrea Petkovic of Germany.

Julia Goerges became the first player to advance to the quarter-finals by defeating Romina Oprandi of Switzerland 6-3, 6-3.

The fifth-seeded German saved all four break points she faced against Oprandi, who was a quarter-finalist in Beijing last week.

Goerges will next face Sofia Arvidsson of Sweden, who defeated Lucie Hradecka of the Czech Republic 6-4, 7-6.

Patricia Mayr-Achleitner became the only Austrian player to reach the second round by defeating eighth-seeded Sabine Lisicki of Germany 6-1, 6-3.