Australian Open

Hungry Azarenka serves up 'double bagel'

2016-01-19 15:26
Victoria Azarenka (AFP)

Melbourne - Two-time champion Victoria Azarenka stormed into the Australian Open second round Tuesday, swatting aside Belgian Alison Van Uytvanck without losing a game in a dominant "double bagel" display.

The Belarusian former world number one entered the Grand Slam in ominous form, winning the Brisbane International, and she was untouchable on Rod Laver Arena, crushing Van Uytvanck 6-0, 6-0 in just 53 minutes.

"I couldn't wait to play out here today. I'm so happy to be out here and having fun," she said, after recording her first double bagel since the 2013 US Open first round -- when she went on to make the final.

"I was just in the moment, I wanted to do the best on every shot and stay composed and focused."

Seeded 14, Azarenka has been working to get back in the groove after a torrid two years battling injuries and the 43rd-ranked Belgian was no match for the ferocious all-court game of a player now fit and healthy.

Wearing all-white, she was pumped up from the start and immediately stamped her authority, breaking to go 1-0 ahead.

Van Uytvanck had been knocked out at the first hurdle in her previous two Australian Opens and she never looked like achieving anything different on Tuesday.

Azarenka held for 2-0 and kept her foot to the floor, racing through the opening set to love in just 24 minutes, winning virtually all the baseline points.

There was no respite for the Belgian in the second set with the world number 16 totally focused on her game, with Van Uytvanck having nothing in her armoury to halt the assault.

Nicknamed "Vika" and renowned in the past for fiery on-court outbursts, she won the tournament in 2012 and defended her title the following year. It is her most successful Grand Slam and one of her favourite events of the year.

With Van Uytvanck out the way, she now faces Danka Kovinic of Montenegro with her first major hurdle likely to be Spanish third seed Garbine Muguruza in the fourth round.


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