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

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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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