Victoria Azarenka outsmarts Svetlana Kuznetsova in the first round – Mutua Madrid Open 2012

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Victoria Azarenka outsmarts Svetlana Kuznetsova in the first round – Mutua Madrid Open 2012
Reigning world number one, Victoria Azarenka, overcame the limited resistance posed by the former world number two, Svetlana Kuznetsova of Russia, in the opening round of the Mutua Madrid Open on Sunday. The top seeded Belarusian had to labour for one hour and 44 minutes before settling the clash in straight sets, 7-6(5), 6-4, to clear the opening round of the WTA (Women’s Tennis Association) Premier Mandatory event in Madrid, Spain.
A relatively easier victory was anticipated for the world number one but Kuznetsova posed some solid resistance early on in the contest to stretch Azarenka a bit. The 28th ranked Russian was facing Azarenka for the third time on clay surface, with the prior two encounters being won by her but it was the payback time for the top seed. Azarenka had recently defeated the Russian at the Indian Wells Masters and her Sunday’s victory improved her head-to-head series to 3-4 in the singles encounters.
"I was really looking forward to the start of this tournament," Azarenka said after winning her 30th victory of the running season. "Anywhere I go my goal is to win the tournament, and it's the same goal here. I did pretty well here last year and hopefully this year I'll do a little bit better."
The top ranked contender had a phenomenal serve game in the match, winning 34 out of 44 first serve points and breaking Kuznetsova three out of eight times en route to victory. Azarenka belted four aces and spilled out five double faults, whilst the Russian opponent bettered her with 10 fiery aces in the match. However, Kuznetsova could barely register two serve breaks in the entire matchup to finish on the losing side in the end.
Azarenka is bidding for her fifth championship title of the current WTA circuit. She has only suffered two defeats this year and her belligerent run of form has made her the hot favourite for winning the Mutua Madrid Open. The top seed Belarusian will next face the winner of the opening round clash between Andrea Hlavackova and Anastasia Rodionova in the second round draw of the tournament.



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