California - Victoria Azarenka, a former world No 1, eased
past lucky-loser Anna Blinkova 6-1, 6-0 on Wednesday night in the second round
of the Mubadala Silicon Valley Classic.
Azarenka broke the Russian teenager's serve six times to
advance to face American qualifier Danielle Collins, a 6-1, 3-6, 6-1 winner
over Vera Lapko of Belarus.
Blinkova replaced Garbine Muguruza in the draw after the
top-seeded Spaniard withdrew because of a right arm injury.
"I've been feeling some pain in my right arm for a
couple of days and realized I am not ready to play the match, so hopefully I
can recover for the next tournaments," Muguruza said in a statement.
Johanna Konta, the 2016 champion, followed her Tuesday upset
of 23-time Grand Slam champion Serena Williams with a 6-1, 6-4 victory over
American teenager Sofia Kenin 6-1, 6-4.
Konta will play No 4 seed Elise Mertens of Belgium. Mertens
topped American wild-card Ashley Kratzer 6-2, 6-0.