WTA Western & Southern Open: Victoria Azarenka safely through to third round
Last Updated: 13/08/13 11:47pm
Victoria Azarenka: Saw off challenge of Vania King to reach last 16 in Cincinnati
Victoria Azarenka progressed to the third round of the Western and Southern Open in Cincinnati with a 6-1 7-6 (8-6) victory over Vania King.
The No 2 was pushed hard in the second set, where she dropped her serve twice, but eventually came through to become the first player to reach the last 16.
Azarenka completed the win in an hour and 41 minutes despite serving six double faults and winning fewer than half the points on her second serve.
Azarenka said: "The beginning of the second set wasn't very good for me.
"There were quite a few unforced errors and just really fast mistakes, which didn't happen in the first set.
"She was playing at a much higher level and really going for her shots, so I had to stay with her and take my opportunities, and I did.
"There were a few inconsistencies but first matches can be tricky."
In first-round action there were wins for home hopes Jamie Hampton and Varvara Lepchenko, who recorded three-set wins over Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova and Flavia Pennetta respectively.
The was a shock exit for 13th seed Kirsten Flipkens, however, as she bowed out in the opening round after losing 3-6 6-1 6-3 to Elena Vesnina.
The Belgian defeated Venus Williams in the Rogers Cup in Toronto last week but could not recreate that form in Cincinnati as she was defeated in an hour and 34 minutes.
Former world No 1 Ana Ivanovic also suffered a surprise defeat, the 15th seed going down 2-6 7-6 (10-8) 6-4 to Alize Cornet.