Former Aus Open champion Azarenka rolls back years to crush Svitolina

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Victoria Azarenka. (Photo by Mark Metcalfe/Getty Images)
Victoria Azarenka. (Photo by Mark Metcalfe/Getty Images)

Two-time Australian Open champion Victoria Azarenka turned back the clock to crush former world number four Elina Svitolina 6-0, 6-2 in a blistering display on Friday.

The 32-year-old was in ruthless form as she blasted the 15th seed off court in just 67 minutes to march into the fourth round at Melbourne Park.

Her dominant win set up a clash with either world number four and current French Open champion Barbora Krejcikova or 2017 Roland Garros winner Jelena Ostapenko for place in the quarter-finals.

"I felt like I played really well tactically and not really let her into the game," she said.

"She's a great defender, she's a great competitor so I had to try and stay in top of her as much as possible and kind of not let her breathe in a way."

Azarenka, seeded 24, won the Australian Open in 2012 and 2013, and she showed against Svitolina that she could again threaten this year.

Under hot sun on Rod Laver Arena, she came flying out of the blocks, breaking the Ukrainian in the first game and never looked back, forcing a slew of unforced errors from her opponent.

Svitolina, who made the quarter-finals in Melbourne in 2018 and 2019, recovered somewhat in the second set and saved five match points, but it was too little too late.

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