Twice champion Victoria Azarenka upset Czech 11th seed Barbora Krejcikova 6-3 7-5 yesterday to reach the Cincinnati Open second round while Danish wildcard Caroline Wozniacki, in her second tournament out of retirement, lost her opening match.
The 34-year-old unseeded Belarusian Azarenka broke Krejcikova four times, saved three of five break points and won the final five games of a match lasting one hour 45 minutes.
Krejcikova battled to get the opener back on serve but Azarenka broke right back and then went on to serve out the first set in the following game on her second set point.
In the second set, Krejcikova grabbed the early momentum and it was Azarenka who had to come back from a break down and then kicked into a higher gear before saving two break points in the final game to serve out the match.
Wozniacki, who reached the second round last week in Montreal where she played her first competitive matches after more than three years away to start a family, fell 6-4 6-4 to lucky loser Varvara Gracheva of France.
Former world number one Wozniacki had her chances but failed to convert any of her nine break points while Gracheva’s backhand proved too much for the Dane to handle.
Czech ninth seed Petra Kvitova, a Cincinnati finalist last year, also booked her spot in the second round with a 7-6(2) 6-0 win over Russian Anna Blinkova.