Azarenka, Ivanovic win Linz openers

Last week's Beijing champion Victoria Azarenka and former Linz titlist Ana Ivanovic were a pair of first-round winners Wednesday at the Generali Ladies Linz tennis tournament.

The world No. 1 Azarenka, this year's Australian Open titlist and U.S. Open runner-up, stayed hot by drilling helpless Dutchwoman Arantxa Rus 6-0, 6-2 in 65 minutes on the indoor hardcourts at Tips Arena Linz.

The Belarusian Azarenka's second-round opponent on Thursday will be Romanian Simona Halep.

A second-seeded Ivanovic, meanwhile, got past Romania's Monica Niculescu 7-5, 6-3 in 1 hour, 15 minutes.

The former world No. 1 Ivanovic will meet fellow former Top-10 star Andrea Petkovic on Thursday. Ivanovic captured Linz titles in 2008 and 2010.

Fifth-seeded Julia Goerges of Germany reached the quarterfinals with a 6-3, 6-3 handling of Swiss Romina Oprandi, while Swedish veteran Sofia Arvidsson also reached the round of eight with a 6-4, 7-6 (7-4) victory over Czech Lucie Hradecka on Day 3. Goerges and Arvidsson will meet on Friday.

A first-round upset came when wild card and Austrian crowd favorite Patricia Mayr-Achleitner drubbed eighth-seeded German slugger Sabine Lisicki 6-1, 6-3.

The newest Linz titlist will earn $37,000.