Sports

Victoria Azarenka into 3rd round of Qatar Open; American teen Sloane Stephens loses in 3 sets

  • Sloane Stephens of the U.S. returns the ball during her match against  Klara Zakopalova of the Czech Republic on the Third day of the WTA Qatar Ladies Open in Doha, Qatar, Wednesday, Feb. 13, 2013. (AP Photo/Osama Faisal)

    Sloane Stephens of the U.S. returns the ball during her match against Klara Zakopalova of the Czech Republic on the Third day of the WTA Qatar Ladies Open in Doha, Qatar, Wednesday, Feb. 13, 2013. (AP Photo/Osama Faisal)  (The Associated Press)

  • Belarus Victoria Azarenka returns the ball during her match against Romina Oprandi of Switzerland on the Third day of the WTA Qatar Ladies Open in Doha, Qatar, Wednesday, Feb. 13, 2013. (AP Photo/Osama Faisal)

    Belarus Victoria Azarenka returns the ball during her match against Romina Oprandi of Switzerland on the Third day of the WTA Qatar Ladies Open in Doha, Qatar, Wednesday, Feb. 13, 2013. (AP Photo/Osama Faisal)  (The Associated Press)

  • Agnieszka Radwanska of Poland returns the ball during her match against Anastasia Rodionova of Australia  on the Third Day of the WTA Qatar Ladies Open in Doha, Qatar, Wednesday, Feb. 13, 2013. (AP Photo/Osama Faisal)

    Agnieszka Radwanska of Poland returns the ball during her match against Anastasia Rodionova of Australia on the Third Day of the WTA Qatar Ladies Open in Doha, Qatar, Wednesday, Feb. 13, 2013. (AP Photo/Osama Faisal)  (The Associated Press)

Fresh off winning a second consecutive Australian Open, top-ranked Victoria Azarenka breezed into the third round of the Qatar Open with a 6-2, 6-3 victory over Romina Oprandi on Wednesday.

The defending champion was joined by fourth-ranked Agnieszka Radwanska, who beat Australian qualifier Anastasia Rodionova 6-3, 6-2. But American Sloane Stephens, who upset Serena Williams in the Australian Open quarterfinals, lost to Klara Zakopalova 6-4, 7-6 (5), 7-6 (5).

Azarenka, who retains her top ranking if she reaches the final and Williams fails to reach the semifinals, had a nervous start. She was broken early and quickly fell behind 2-0. But Azarenka recovered, breaking the Swiss player three times to win the first set. Azarenka then took a 3-0 lead in the second set.