Victoria Azarenka through, no sister act for Radwanska

Filling a mostly empty stadium court with her familiar shrieks on Wednesday, the former world No. 1 beat Elena Vesnina of Russia 6-1, 6-4.

Last updated on Wednesday, 29 May, 2013 18:44 IST
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Paris: Double Australian Open champion Victoria Azarenka reached the French Open second round Wednesday but Agnieszka Radwanska's hopes of playing little sister Urszula for a place in the last 16 were dashed.

Azarenka clinched a 6-1, 6-4 win over Elena Vesnina -- her fifth win in five matches against the experienced Russian -- and will next face German 19-year-old Annika Beck, the 2012 junior champion, for a place in the third round.

Roland Garros has been Azarenka's least successful Grand Slam.

Having reached at least the semi-finals of the other three majors, the 23-year-old's best run in Paris saw her make the last eight in 2009 and 2011.

But she was relatively untroubled on Wednesday against Vesnina, with whom she reached the final of the women's doubles in 2009.

Breaks in the second and sixth games of the opening set gave her the foundation for victory in a match held over from Tuesday because of rain.

She was 2-1 up with a break in the second before the 28-year-old Vesnina rallied to level at 3-3.

But it was a brief respite for the world nunmber 38 as Azarenka hit back straightaway to seal the tie after 78 minutes.

"It felt good to be on the court after getting cancelled yesterday," said Azarenka.

"It was a good win as Elena is a really tough opponent.

"I will be back tomorrow to play again but I want to be able to slide better on the clay, especially on the left foot as well as the right. That's my goal this year."

Polish fourth seed Agnieszka Radwanksa, who has never got beyond the fourth round, eased past Mallory Burdette of the United States 6-3, 6-2.

She had been scheduled to tackle her sister for a place in the last 16, but Urszula, who put out Venus Williams in the first round, crashed out 6-3, 6-3 to German qualifier Dinah Pfizenmaier, the world number 127.

Czech seventh seed Petra Kvitova and Russian 12th seed Maria Kirilenko were also early winners of their delayed first round matches.

Spanish men's fourth seed David Ferrer, a semi-finalist in 2012, made the third round, beating compatriot Albert Montanes, 6-2, 6-1, 6-3.

Sixth seed Jo-Wilfried Tsonga, France's best hope of a first men's champion in Paris for 30 years, defeated Finnish veteran Jarkko Nieminen, 7-6 (8/6), 6-4, 6-3.

Tsonga, a quarter-finalist last year when he squandered four match points against Novak Djokovic, next faces either compatriot Jeremy Chardy or Roberta Bautista Agut of Spain.

Croatian 10th seed Marin Cilic ended the hopes of Australian teenager Nick Kyrgios, the world number 262, by winning 6-4, 6-2, 6-2.

Later Wednesday, Roger Federer will bid to win his 56th career match at Roland Garros, just two behind the record held jointly by Guillermo Vilas and Nicola Pietrangeli.

Federer, the 2009 champion and bidding for an 18th major, tackles Indian qualifier Somdev Devvarman, the world number 188.

Second seed Federer beat Devvarman in their only previous meeting in straight sets in Dubai in 2011.

Women's top seed Serena Williams, who is on a 25-match winning streak, faces French teenager Caroline Garcia.

World number 114 Garcia was a set and 4-1 up on Maria Sharapova at Roland Garros in the second round in 2011 before losing in three.

Williams is looking for a second title in Paris, 13 years after her first.

Story first published on: Wednesday, 29 May 2013 16:55 IST

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