WTA BNP Paribas Open: Victoria Azarenka won her first match in Indian Wells

Last Updated: 10/03/13 8:53am

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Victoria Azarenka: Had to knuckle down to beat Daniela Hantuchova

Victoria Azarenka: Had to knuckle down to beat Daniela Hantuchova

Sky Bet

Victoria Azarenka led a rush of seeds through to the third round of the BNP Paribas Open in Indian Wells.

The top seed overcame a sluggish start to beat Daniela Hantuchova 6-4 6-1 and will now face Belgian Kirsten Flipkens, who earlier scraped past Romania's Monica Niculescu 4-6 6-4 6-3.

Azarenka began poorly, slipping to a 4-1 deficit, before rallying to win 12 of teh next 13 games against the slight Slovakian.

"First round matches are never easy and Daniela is such a great player," said the Australian Open champion. "She started really well. It was my first match after a while, so it's always a little bit tricky.

"She already had a match under her belt, plus I think she really feels very good here, winning two times before. So it caught me a little bit off guard. I needed a bit of time to realise ... that I had to step it up if I want to win the match."

Former US Open champion Samantha Stosur eased into the third round with a commanding 6-3 6-4 victory over American teenager Madison Keys while fourth-seeded German Angelique Kerber swept past Romania's Irina Begu 6-3 6-2.

Australian Stosur, seeded seventh in the elite WTA event at Indian Wells, broke her opponent's serve once in each set to win the first match of the day on the showpiece Stadium Court after an hour-and-a-quarter.

Eighth seed Caroline Wozniacki of Denmark battled past Frenchwomen Alize Cornet 6-4 3-6 6-3 and 2008 champion Ana Ivanovic of Serbia hammered American wildcard Taylor Townsend 6-1 6-2.

In earlier matches, 10th-seeded Russian Nadia Petrova eased past Swiss Stefanie Voegele 6-2 6-3 and Belgian Yanina Wickmayer beat Croatia's Mirjana Lucic-Baroni 3-6 6-3 6-2.

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