Azarenka beats Lisicki, Kerber also through to Brisbane QFs

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World number one and top seed at the Brisbane International 2013 tournament being played in this eastern Australian city this week, Victoria Azarenka faced up against the 37th ranked German Sabine Lisicki, on Wednesday in her first match of the season, as she had a bye in the first round. Lisicki beat Lucie Safarova in her first round encounter 6-2 6-4.

It took Azarenka under one and a half hours to put away her hard hitting, but sometimes erratic opponent 6-3 6-3. The Belarusian had much better stats in all areas of this match and now goes on to meet the 103 ranked Kazakhstani qualifier Ksenia Pervak, who took out Ursula Radwanska in the second round.

Another German player also took to the court – 4th seed and 5th ranked Angelique Kerber – who played another qualifier, the virtually unknown Monica Puig of Puerto Rico, ranked at number 124 on the WTA’s standings. What should have been a mere warm up match for the German turned out to be a long slog which took more than two and a half hours before she eventually came out on top 3-6 6-4 7-6, winning the tie breaker 9-7. The stats for these two players were virtually identical all through the match, with Kerber winning just two points more than her opponent for the victory. She will next meet Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova in the quarters.

In other matches played on Wednesday, Sloane Stephens of the USA beat Sophia Arvidsson of Sweden 6-3 6-4; and Lesia Tsurenko of Ukraine took out Aussie Jarmila Gajdosova 1-6 6-1 6-4.

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