Azarenka, Sharapova win Beijing openers

Top seeds Victoria Azarenka and Maria Sharapova were among those posting wins Monday at the $4.8 million China Open tennis event.

The world No. 1 Azarenka throttled France's Alize Cornet 6-1, 6-0 in 66 minutes, while the second-seeded French Open champion and former top-ranked star Sharapova handled Romanian Simona Halep 7-5, 7-5 in opening-round action at Beijing's National Tennis Centre.

The Australian Open champion and U.S. Open runner-up Azarenka's second-round opponent on Tuesday will be German slugger Sabine Lisicki, while the Russian Sharapova will meet Romanian Sorana Cirstea on Wednesday.

A big second-round upset occurred when Spaniard Carla Suarez Navarro doused fourth-seeded former Wimbledon champion Petra Kvitova of the Czech Republic 6-3, 6-2, while hot Dane Caroline Wozniacki avoided an upset by sneaking past South African Chanelle Scheepers 7-5, 6-7 (6-8), 6-2 in round one. The 10th- seeded Wozniacki has won nine of her last 10 matches, including her first title of the year in Seoul two weeks ago.

The 2010 China Open champion Wozniacki's second-round opponent on Tuesday will be Taiwan's Su-Wei Hsieh, who titled in Guangzhou, China two weeks ago.

Eleventh-seeded former world No. 1 Ana Ivanovic of Serbia reached the third round by overcoming American Varvara Lepchenko 4-6, 7-5, 6-1.

Some other second-round action saw Chinese Peng Shuai sneak past Yaroslava Shvedova 5-7, 7-5, 6-2 and Russian qualifier Elena Vesnina defeat Austrian Tamira Paszek 7-6 (7-5), 6-2.

Additional opening-round wins came for the aforementioned Lisicki and Cirstea, Slovenian qualifier Polona Hercog and Spanish qualifier Lara Arruabarrena- Vecino. Lisicki outlasted Spaniard Anabel Medina Garrigues 6-3, 5-7, 6-2.

Also on Tuesday, reigning China Open champ and 2009 runner-up Agnieszka Radwanska will take on Chinese Zhang Shuai in the second round. The 2012 Wimbledon runner-up Radwanska beat German Andrea Petkovic in last year's Beijing finale.

The 2012 China Open champion will enjoy a windfall of $848,000.