Azarenka rolls; Wozniacki falls in Doha opener

World No. 1 Belarusian stalwart Victoria round winner, while former top-ranked star round losers at the $2.168 million Qatar Open.

The Australian Open champion Azarenka saw her first action as the world No. 1 and looked very bit the part on Day 3 as she pummeled rising German Mona Barthel 6-1, 6-0 in one hour on the hardcourts at Khalifa International Tennis Complex. The 21-year-old Barthel captured her first-ever WTA title in Hobart last month.

Up next for Azarenka will be Romanian Simona Halep.

A second-seeded Wozniacki, meanwhile, played her first match since losing the top ranking to Azarenka last month and succumbed to Czech Lucie Safarova 4-6, 6-4, 7-6 (7-3) after blowing match points in the round of 32.

"I am disappointed to have lost like this," Wozniacki said. "I had three match points but wasted them. I just want to move on from here."

The Danish Wozniacki was last year's Doha runner-up to Russian Vera Zvonareva, who also exited the draw on Wednesday.

Romanian Monica Niculescu was beating a sixth-seeded Zvonareva 7-5, 3-2 when the former Wimbledon and U.S. Open runner-up retired, citing a hip injury.

Zvonareva was also a Doha runner-up in 2008.

Three other top-five seeds reached the third round, as No. 3 Aussie Samantha Stosur bested Romanian Sorana Cirstea 6-4, 7-6 (7-5), No. 4 Pole Agnieszka Radwanska drubbed British qualifier Anne Keothavong 6-1, 6-2 and No. 5 French slugger Marion Bartoli dismantled Spaniard Anabel Medina Garrigues 6-2, 6-0. Stosur is the reigning U.S. Open champion. The former Wimbledon runner-up Bartoli was a runner-up in Paris last week.

Two more top-eight seeds suffered upsets, as Belgian Yanina Wickmayer doused No. 7 Italian Francesca Schiavone 7-6 (7-4), 6-4 and Israeli Shahar Peer erased No. 8 Serb Jelena Jankovic 7-6 (7-3), 6-2. Schiavone was last year's French Open runner-up and the 2010 Roland Garros titlist. Jankovic is a former world No. 1.

In other second-round action involving seeds, rising American Christina McHale overcame No. 12 Chinese Peng Shuai 5-7, 6-3, 6-2; Czech Petra Cetkovska topped No. 13 and former top-ranked Serbian star Ana Ivanovic 6-4, 6-4; No. 14 Svetlana Kuznetsova handled fellow Russian Maria Kirilenko 6-4, 6-4; and American qualifier Varvara Lepchenko upended No. 16 German Julia Goerges 7-6 (7-4), 7-6 (7-5). The two-time Grand Slam champion Kuznetsova was the Doha runner-up in 2004 and 2007. Kirilenko was a runner-up in Pattaya City last week.

Additional second-round wins came for Halep, Russian Ksenia Pervak, Ukrainian qualifier Kateryna Bondarenko and Bulgarian Tsvetana Pironkova, who cooled off last week's maiden WTA titlist Angelique Kerber 6-4, 6-1. The German Kerber was the champion in Paris last weekend, as she downed the aforementioned Bartoli in the finale.

The 2012 Doha champion will earn a first prize of $385,000.