In the first match on Rod Laver Arena on a scorching hot Day 4 of the Australian Open on Thursday morning, top seed Victoria Azarenka took on the Greek veteran Eleni Daniilidou who is 94 in the WTA’s rankings. This match was the second between the two, with Daniilidou winning in three sets in Paris in 2008. Right from the get go Azarenka was hitting the ball with pinpoint precision and her opponent took a long time to start hitting a few good shots, but they were all in vain, as Azarenka won 6-1 6-0 in just 55 minutes on court. Azarenka will play the unseeded American, Jamie Hampton in the third round.
Russian Maria Kirilenko, the tournament’s 14th seed, was up against the Chinese player Shuai Peng who is ranked at number 32, in the first match on the Hisense Arena. The first set was a hard fought affair with both players going toe to toe with each other up to 5-5, when the Russian eventually got the break through to go 6-5 up and serve out for the marathon set at 7-5. This set lasted 73 minutes and was played in energy sapping 32° heat. The second set was much more straight forward for Kirilenko, who ran up a 4-0 lead before Peng got on the scoreboard; and she allowed the Chinese just one more game before taking the set at 6-2 in just 36 minutes. Her opponent in the next round will be either Yanina Wickmayer or Jana Cepelova.