Victoria Azarenka made quick work in her opening round back at the Western & Southern Open to move into the second round Tuesday. She defeated American Lauren Davis in straight sets 6-1, 6-2 on Grandstand Court.
The 2013 champ got another tournament run underway with a second meeting against the American. They met at another masters event where Davis made the early break on Azarenka to eventually win with a solid run on the tiebreaker. She had to qualify for the tournament winning two games to get to this point.
Although she planned to give Azarenka another run for her money, the Belorussian has plans in store for her as the former number one has been tuning up her shot to devastate the competition. In her quest to move up the ranks, the 21st ranked player has just one of two tournaments left to make her mark before the draw selections in New York.
She got off to a good start taking a 2-0 lead over Davis in the first set. Though there was a challenge to move ahead on the American, it would mean a clean sweep. The third game proved that as Davis broke the serve of her Belorussian opponent to cut one victory on the scoreboard.
It would be all she would get as Azarenka retook her control of the set to jump out to a 5-1 lead serving for the set. She would put little effort into closing it out allowing Davis just two points to end it in 37 minutes. She served at 65 percent landing 10 of 15 on her opening serve and 5 of 8 on the second having a well rounded performance.
Davis knew that she had to make some momentum for herself if she wanted to be competitive against the strong shot of Azarenka. Digging into the first draw on deuce, Davis gave it all she had and fired a winner on the 26 year old to take point. It would be short lived for Azarenka as she pressed on Davis during deuce to tie the set and later gaining the lead with a double break point due to her strong answer to Davis’s serve.
Azarenka put her game into a near gear against the American adding more energy to her shots making the returns near impossible to respond on. Davis thought she might gain the edge to tame down the firepower across the court but instead it turned into a 4-1 lead for Azarenka looking ever closer to a straight sets victory.
She added her fourth straight to play the match out with Davis still trying to put up some answers to shutting down the Belorussian. Davis kept alive with a love service in the seventh game but knew that she would have to bring it lest she fall under the power shot of Azarenka. She nearly did until the Belorussian pushed back to force deuce and win the match point on an unforced error from the American. She got it done in 87 minutes with a first serve percentage at 71 winning on 29 of 39 shots.
“I take every match very seriously and I knew she won a couple of matches here already so I was happy that I stayed focus from the beginning to the end and tried to implement my game and it worked today,” Azarenka said during her on court interview.
The Belorussian hoped that her game would keep working as she faced Caroline Wozniacki in the next round. She has not allowed the Dane to win a set in the last four matches. “We know each other since juniors and every match is a different story and I have to be ready from the first point and enjoy that moment.”