Azarenka sails into second round in Paris, Kvitova also advances

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Victoria Azarenka, the Belarusian 3rd seed, started proceedings on Wednesday morning at the French Open in very cold and overcast conditions, one day late because of the bad weather on Tuesday. She played against her ex doubles partner, 38th ranked Russian Elena Vesnina. Azarenka started slowly and had to save four game points in the first game, but then broke the Russian and held again to lead 3-0. Vesnina got on the scoreboard in the 5th game, but Azarenka wrapped up the set 6-1 in 32 minutes. Vesnina was more effective in the second set, holding her serve, but the Belarusian also held, broke and then held again to lead 3-1. Vesnina held and then got a break of her own to level at 3-3. Azarenka took the next two games and Vesnina held to stay in the contest at 4-5, but the number three seed served out the set at 6-4.

5th seeded Petra Kvitova had a struggle on her hands against the 185th ranked French wild card, Aravane Rezai. The tall Czech took the first set 6-3 in 35 minutes, but the equally hard hitting Rezai got to 5-4 in the second set and served it out without faltering at 6-4 in forty one minutes. In the decider the players got a break each before Kvitova held for 2-1. She broke again but so did Rezai, to take her score to 3-2. Once again the Czech broke and did not lose another game to take the set 6-2.

The 54th ranked American, Jamie Hampton, caused an upset when she defeated the tournament’s 25th seed, Lucie Safarova of the Czech Republic. The American took the first tight set on a tie break which she won 7-5 in fifty seven minutes. The Czech leftie came back strongly in the second set, to take it 6-3 in thirty two minutes. In the decider Hampton regained her momentum. It was a real nail biter, as the players got to 7-7 before the American broke away to take the set 9-7.

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