Azarenka, Bartoli cruise through

Brisbane, January 4:

Second seeded Belarussian Victoria Azarenka and Marion Bartoli, the third seed from France, cruised into the second round of the Brisbane International with impressive straight-set wins today.

Azarenka thrashed Ukraine’s Kateryna Bondarenko 6-0, 6-2 and Bartoli was too strong for 16-year-old Australian wildcard Monica Wejnert, winning 6-1, 6-2 in 54 minutes. Azarenka will take on Australian-based Slovakian Jarmila Gajdosova in the second round after Gajdosova’s surprise 6-4, 6-2 win over China’s Peng Shuai.

The only major upset came when Russia’s Alisa Kleybanova downed sixth seeded Estonian Kaia Kanepi 6-1, 6-4. The players are six places apart on the WTA rankings, Kanepi at 27 and Kleybanova at 33. In the day’s only other result, Tsvetana Pironkova of Bulgaria beat Romania’s Monica Niculescu 6-7 (2/7), 6-4, 6-4 in a match that lasted three hours and seven minutes.