Azarenka beats Hampton at Australian Open, Vinci out

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Opening proceedings on Rod Laver Arena on Day 6 of the Australian Open were top seed Victoria Azarenka, and world number 63 American Jamie Hampton. On paper this looked like a pushover for Azarenka, but Hampton played some spectacular tennis to give her a real fright. In the first set Azarenka ran up a handy 5-1 lead but, when serving for the set, she came up with three double faults to let the American take the break. Hampton then held and broke Azarenka again, but served two doubles of her own to let the top seed take the set 6-4. Hampton was on a roll in the second set and immediately broke Azarenka, who then broke back before Hampton broke and held again for 3-1. Games went with serve until 5-4 to Hampton when she had to have a medical time out for a back injury, but she came back and held to take the second set 6-4. Unfortunately, Hampton was in a lot of pain and even though she broke Azarenka in the 3rd game, Azarenka then won five games to take the set 6-2.

The match on Show Court 2 between Svetlana Kuznetsova of Russian and Carla Suarez-Navarro of Spain, both unseeded, also went to three sets. Kuznetsova took the first set comfortably 6-2, but Suarez-Navarro came back at her to take the second 6-4. Suarez-Navarro got the first break in the deciding set to go 2-1 up, but Kuznetsova drew on all her experience to break back and go into a 5-3 lead before serving out the set 6-3 to move into the fourth round.

Italian Roberta Vinci, the 16th seed and the unseeded 47th ranked Russian Elena Vesnina, battled for three hours and four minutes on Margaret Court Arena. In a match of many service breaks, Vinci took the first set 6-4, Vesnina took the second by winning the tie breaker 7-4 and then took the decider 6-4 for another good win this season.

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