Cumberland Times-News

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January 17, 2013

Williams, Azarenka into third round in Australia

(Continued)

MELBOURNE, Australia —

 
With temperatures expected to top 102 degrees, Azarenka didn’t want to be out in the heat.
 
“I felt like I’m back into the competitive mode,” she said. “I was really focused — that was for sure the best part of the game for me.”
 
The No. 94-ranked Daniilidou only won 10 points in the first set and was shut out in the second despite having triple break point in the fourth game.
 
Top-ranked Azarenka had her friend and musician RedFoo in the stands watching and signing autographs, and said she went onto the court listening to a “great mix of disco music and a little bit of new music. I really start to like it a lot — there’s no words really.”
 
The 23-year-old Belarusian won her first Grand Slam title in Melbourne last year, during a 26-match winning streak to start the season.
 
“It’s pretty difficult to duplicate something like that,” she said. “All I can do is try.”
 
She didn’t win another major in 2012, dropping the U.S. Open final against Serena Williams, but held the No. 1 ranking for most of the season.
 
The temperature hit 93 degrees during her match, the first of the day on the center court.
 
Also advancing were No. 14 Maria Kirilenko, who beat China’s Peng Shuai 7-5, 6-2, No. 16 Roberta Vinci and Elena Vesnina, who beat No. 21-seeded Varvara Lepchenko of the United States 6-4, 6-2.
 
U.S. Open champion Andy Murray had a 6-2, 6-2, 6-4 victory over Joao Sousa of Portugal. Murray, who ended a 76-year drought by British men in Grand Slam tournaments with his win at Flushing Meadows last year, didn’t allow Sousa a single break point chance in steamy conditions.
 
Standing in the way of a potential second Grand Slam title for Murray is a likely semifinal against No. 2 Roger Federer, who was playing his second-round match Thursday night.

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