In a battle of former No. 1s, Victoria Azarenka again got the better of Caroline Wozniacki, beating the Dane like she did in Australia in straight sets 6-2, 7-6(2) in the second round at the Rome Masters.
“There are never too many surprises out there, for either of us,” said Azarenka who served for the match at 6-5. “We’ve played so many times now, and this year too, and she’s always a tough opponent. It had been a while since we played on clay, so I knew I had to step up my game and try to do my best, because she’s been playing well.
“She’s been playing some really great tennis this season so I knew I had to step it up today.”
Wozniacki led 5-3 in the second but failed to close it out. It’s her third loss to Azarenka already this year.
Wimbledon runner-up and WTA darling Eugenie Bouchard finally got a win, defeating Zarina Diyas 6-3, 6-4. The victory snapped Bouchard’s 6-match losing streak.
“It’s been an up and down kind of year for me,” said Bouchard. “I started out well, but I haven’t been playing so well in matches in the last couple of months. It’s frustrating, because I’ve been doing better in practice and I’ve been doing better in the gym. So I just feel it’ll come – and I don’t want to freak out about it.”
Bouchard is ranked No. 6, but unless she turns the corner quick, she won’t be that high much longer with French Open semifinal and Wimbledon runner-up points to defend in the next two months.
After a breakout 2014, the 21-year-old is now just 7-8 this season with only one event where she won 3 or more matches, that a quarterfinal in Australia. Bouchard meets Carla Suarez-Navarro tomorrow.
Also, 2014 French runner-up Simona Halep pounded Alison Riske. She’ll meet Venus Williams Thursday in good one. Venus knocked out Elina Svitolina 6-4, 6-3.
“I feel good, I feel I have no pain anymore, I have just a little bit of contraction in the muscle but I think it’s good now,” Halep said. “I can run, I can play, I can do everything. I will have the chance to win a Grand Slam but it’s still very far so I want to try to take match by match and see if that is going to happen.”
A pair of favorites lost as former French Open champion Ana Ivanovic fell in a third set breaker to Daria Gavrilova who beat Maria Sharapova in Miami. And American Cristina McHale stunned Italian star and 2014 Rome finalist Sara Errani 6-4, 6-4. Mchale now gets Serena Williams.
In two late matches, Madrid champion Petra Kvitova overcame a 2-5 deficit in the third to deny Karin Knapp in a final set breaker, and Jelena Jankovic ousted Magdelena Rybarikova.
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