Miami, FL (SportsNetwork.com) - Two-time champion Victoria Azarenka was an easy first-round winner Wednesday at the $5.3 million Miami Open.
The former world No. 1 blew past Silvia Soler-Espinosa 6-1, 6-3 at the Tennis Center at Crandon Park.
Currently ranked 36th, Azarenka won the event in 2009 and 2011.
Up next will be 20th-seeded fellow former No. 1 Jelena Jankovic, who was last week's runner-up at Indian Wells and reached the final in Miami back in 2008.
American Sloane Stephens had no problem in her first-round match against Yanina Wickmayer, winning 6-1, 6-3.
In other action involving Americans, Christina McHale handled Sorana Cirstea 7-5, 6-4; Alison Riske downed Mirjana Lucic-Baroni 6-4, 6-0; and Irina Falconi beat Monica Puig 7-6 (11-9), 7-6 (7-3); but Coco Vandeweghe lost to Urszula Radwanska 6-4, 6-7 (2-7), 6-3 and Lauren Davis fell to Sesil Karatantcheva 6-3, 7-6 (7-5).
Falconi will take on fifth-seeded Ana Ivanovic and Radwanska will face Venus Williams, the 16th seed.
Nicole Vaidisova moved on by handling Timea Babos 6-1, 7-6 (7-4). Vaidisova, 25, retired from the WTA in 2010, but decided to return to the courts last year and has now played in two WTA-level events so far in 2015, going 1-1. She will play the No. 3 seed, Simona Halep, in the second round, following Halep's win at Indian Wells over the weekend.
Also winning in Day 2 action were Heather Watson, Tsvetana Pironkova, Belinda Bencic, Annika Beck, Julia Goerges, Stefanie Voegele, Elena Vesnina, Pauline Parmentier, Alison Van Uytvanck and Anastasia Pavlychenkova.
Daria Gavrilova moved on when Marina Erakovic retired down 5-1 setting up a second-round match against fellow Russian Maria Sharapova, the No. 2 seed. Tajana Maria topped Roberta Vinci 7-6 (11-9), 6-3 to advance to play sixth- seeded Canadian Eugenie Bouchard.
Serena Williams, the world's No. 1 player, is scheduled to open her tournament on Friday against Monica Niculescu a week after pulling out of her semifinal at Indian Wells because of a knee injury.
The 2015 Miami champion will earn $900,400.