Victoria Azarenka has booked a second round meeting with World No.10 Serena Williams after downing Vera Lapko 6-2, 6-3 on Wednesday night at the Indian Wells Open.
The world number 48 ran off to a quick start and won the first set with ease and while her 20-year-old opponent Lapko threw in some resistance in the second set, there was no looking back for Azarenka. Lapko did save four match points before Azarenka closed out the straight-set win.
Azarenka fired two aces and a strong first serve kept her totally in control of the rallies, allowing her to become more aggressive. She also converted six of the 13 break-points she got in the course of the match.
At the end of the match, the former Grand Slam winner said:
“I think I moved too well and served well.”
Azarenka, who reckons she got into playing mode as soon as she had arrived at Indian Wells, said that helped her a lot going into this match.
However, she admitted to being slightly nervous at the beginning.
“First rounds of this game are often tough and playing against someone from my country is unusual for me.”
The former World No.1 and Belarusian mom also said it would be tough playing against Serena Williams.
“We haven’t played in three years since we became moms, even though it’s going to be a huge challenge, it is really going to be a special one.”
Of the previous 21 meetings with Azarenka, Serena has won 17 of them.
In another opening round match on the day, Great Britain’s Johanna Konta also made it to round two with a straight-set win over Pauline Parmentier. She won 6-2, 6-3 and will now take on Hsieh Su-wei in the second round.
Teenager Amanda Anisimova also made it through to the second round, easing past Aleksandra Krunic 6-0, 6-4 to set up a meeting with 16th seeded Elise Mertens.