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Azarenka beats Rus in opening match at Generali Ladies

Associated Press

10/10/2012 11:46:55 AM

LINZ, Austria -- 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 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, will 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 quarterfinals 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 quarterfinalist in Beijing last week.

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

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.