WTA Tour

Azarenka shocks Kenin with double bagel in Rome

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Victoria Azarenka of Belarus plays a forehand against Sofia Kenin of the United States during their second round match at the Italian Open in Rome on 17 September 2020.
Victoria Azarenka of Belarus plays a forehand against Sofia Kenin of the United States during their second round match at the Italian Open in Rome on 17 September 2020.
Angelo Carconi - Pool/Getty Images

Victoria Azarenka switched with ease from her impressive form on the hard courts in the United States last week to clay in Rome sweeping past third seed Sofia Kenin 6-0, 6-0 to advance to the third round of the Italian Open on Thursday.

The US Open runner-up followed on from her straight sets win over Venus Williams in the first round at Foro Italico, dispatching Australian Open champion Kenin in just over an hour.

The 31-year-old former world number one, who won her first tournament since 2016 in Cincinatti, did not drop a game and faced no break points, hitting 57 winners against to the American's 29.

"I think my consistency was the key to the scoreline, I think I used my serve smart today," said Azarenka who next plays Russian Daria Kasatkina for a place in the quarter-finals.

Azarenka, a two-time Australian Open winner in 2012 and 2013, has jumped to 14th in the world after her New York success.

The Belarussian spent two years off the court after giving birth in 2016 and became embroiled in a custody battle.

Dutch fifth seed Kiki Bertens also exited in the second round to Slovenian Polona Hercog 6-4, 6-4.

But ninth seed Garbine Muguruza dropped a set before outlasting 16-year-old American Cori Gauff 7-6 (7/3), 3-6, 6-3.

Former French Open champion Muguruza next plays Johanna Konta, the seventh seed, and a runner-up last season.

The British player eased past Irina Begu of Romania 6-0, 6-4, with Czech 12th seed Marketa Vondrousova and Russian Svetlana Kuznetsova also advancing.

In the men's tournament, France's Gael Monfils, the fifth seed, lost his first match since the coronavirus lockdown, falling 6-2, 6-4 to 97th-ranked German Dominik Koepfer in a match which was interrupted for 45 minutes by an electricity cut.

Japan's Kei Nishikori lost his second round match to Italian Lorenzo Musetti, ranked just 249th in the world.

The 18-year-old won through 6-3, 6-4 against the 35th-ranked Nishikori, having already eliminated Swiss Stan Wawrinka in the first round.

"This evening I won with my head. I played the important points well," said the former junior Australian Open winner who next plays Koepfer.

Collated results from the fourth day of the ATP and WTA Italian Open in Rome on Thursday (x denotes seed):

Men

Second round

Lorenzo Musetti (ITA) bt Kei Nishikori (JPN) 6-3, 6-4

Dominik Koepfer (GER) bt Gael Monfils (FRA x5) 6-2, 6-4

Casper Ruud (NOR) bt Lorenzo Sonego (ITA) 6-3, 6-4

Ugo Humbert (FRA) bt Fabio Fognini (ITA x7) 7-5, 7-6 (7/4)

Denis Shapovalov (CAN x12) bt Pedro Martinez (ESP) 6-4, 6-4

Diego Schwartzman (ARG x8) bt John Millman (AUS) 6-4, 7-6 (7/1)

Hubert Hurkacz (POL) bt Andrey Rublev (RUS x9) 7-6 (8/6), 3-6, 6-2

Dusan Lajovic (SRB) bt Milos Raonic (CAN x13) 7-6 (7/3), 4-6, 6-2

Women

Second round

Yulia Putintseva (KAZ) bt Petra Martic (CRO x8) 6-3, 6-7 (2/7), 6-4

Victoria Azarenka (BLR) bt Sofia Kenin (USA x3) 6-0, 6-0

Darya Kasatkina (RUS) bt Katerina Siniakova (CZE) 6-2, 6-3

Garbine Muguruza (ESP x9) bt Cori Gauff (USA) 7-6 (7/3), 3-6, 6-3

Johanna Konta (GBR x7) bt Irina Begu (ROU) 6-0, 6-4

Polona Hercog (SLO) bt Kiki Bertens (NED x5) 6-4, 6-4

Marketa Vondrousova (CZE x12) bt Arantxa Rus (NED) 6-3, 6-3

Svetlana Kuznetsova (RUS) bt Anett Kontaveit (EST x14) 4-6, 7-5, 6-3

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