Sun, 29 May 2022

Melbourne [Australia], January 17 (ANI): Top-seed Ash Barty cruised into the second round of the Australian Open after defeating Lesia Tsurenko on Monday in the opening round.

The Australian world number one thrashed Ukrainian qualifier by 6-0, 6-1 in a match that lasted for just 54 minutes at Rod Laver Arena.

Earlier, two-time winner Victoria Azarenka, seeded No. 24, kicked off her 14th campaign in Melbourne with a 6-3, 6-1 win over Hungary's Panna Udvardy.

The 65-minute victory was Azarenka's first at Melbourne Park since 2016, as she was beaten in the first round in each of her last two appearances in 2019 and 2021. She missed the 2017, 2018, and 2020 editions of the tournament, but improved her career record in opening rounds at Grand Slams to a sparkling 46-10.

At Kia Arena, Barbora Krejcikova needed just over an hour to secure her spot in the second round at the expense of Andrea Petkovic, 6-2, 6-0.

The pair traded breaks in the first two games of the match but it was all Krejcikova from then on: she won 11 of the next 12 games to beat Petkovic at a major for the second time in the last three, having also beaten the German at Wimbledon last summer.

Elsewhere at Margaret Court Arena, Wang Qiang, the former World No.12 showed she still has what it takes to silence a big name in an emphatic 6-4, 6-2 upset of No. 18 seed Coco Gauff.

Wang lost to Gauff twice in 2021 in back-to-back weeks, and Wang played just one more event--the Tokyo Olympics--after losing to Gauff in the second round of the French Open. Head-to-head history mattered little in the 73-minute victory, though, as Wang played the steadier match of the two players. (ANI)

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