Victoria Azarenka sets up ‘very special match’ against Serena Williams

Victoria Azarenka in action

It will be the battle of the former world No 1s in the second round of the Indian Wells as Victoria Azarenka secured an opening-round win to set up a clash against Serena Williams.

Two-time Grand Slam winner Azarenka earned a 6-2, 6-3 victory over Vera Lapko in one hour and 24 minutes.

The Belarusian, though, was broken first as Lapko took a 2-0 lead, but she won the next six games to take the set and then raced into a 4-0 lead in the second set after two early breaks of serve.

Up next is fellow mother and 23-time Grand Slam winner Williams.

“Of course it’s going to be a very special match for us,” Azarenka said.

“We have such a big history, it’s going to be really special. She motivates me, she inspires me, she pushes me to be better.”

British No 1 Johanna Konta also secured a routine win as she beat France’s Pauline Parmentier 6-2, 6-3 to earn a match against 27th seed Hsieh Su-wei of Taiwan.

Americans Amanda Anisimova and Sofia Kenin advanced with contrasting wins as the former beat Serbia’s Aleksandra Krunic 6-0 6-4 while Kenin overcame a first-set loss to beat China’s Wang Yafan 1-6, 7-5, 6-4.

Davria Gavrilova from Australia secured her first win of the 2019 season as she beat Ukrainian teenager Dayana Yastremska 6-2, 5-7, 6-2 while Canadian wildcard Bianca Andreescu was a 6-7 (3-7), 6-3, 6-3 winner over Irina-Camelia Begu.

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