DOHA, Qatar – 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.