Victoria Azarenka sets up tasty clash against Petra Kvitova in Russia
It will be two-time Grand Slam winner against two-time Grand Slam winner in the second round of the St Petersburg Open after Victoria Azarenka booked a date with Petra Kvitova.
Former world No 1 Azarenka secured a solid opening-round win over Margarita Gasparyan, winning 6-4, 6-1 in one hour and 30 minutes.
.@vika7 gets the win over Gasparyan!
— WTA (@WTA) January 29, 2019
Azarenka, though, will need to improve her service game against Australian Open runner-up Kvitova, who had a first-round bye, as she was broken twice in the first set and once in the second by the Russian qualifier.
Fifth seed Julia Goerges advanced with an impressive 6-2, 7-5 win over Maria Sakkari as she broke twice in both sets, although the Greek did break first at the start of the second set.
Meanwhile, sixth seed Jelena Ostapenko overcome a disastrous second set to beat Kristina Mladenovic 6-1, 0-6 ,6-0 in one hour and 22 minutes.
“It was a strange match today but I was fighting until the last point,” the 2017 French Open champion said after her first win of the year.
“I was very nervous because I haven’t won a match this year, and so the most important thing is that I could win.
“Now I’m looking forward to playing my next match.”
Ostapenko will face Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova for a place in the quarter-final after the Russian beat Alize Cornet 7-5 7-6 (7-4).
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