Melbourne, Jan 14: Defending champion Victoria Azarenka beat Johanna Larsson of Sweden 7-6, 6-2 in one hour and 46 minutes to reach the second round at the Australian Open here Tuesday.
The second-seeded Belarussian trailed by 5-6 in the first set while the World No.91 Swede was going to serve. But Azarenka broke to force a tie-break and won it by 7-2, Xinhua reported.
Azarenka found her rhythm and broke in the third game of the second set to assume complete control.
Azarenka is seeking to become the first women since Martina Hingis of Switzerland to win three consecutive Australian Open titles.
The Belrussian beat Maria Sharapova in the final of 2012 to win her first Grand Slam title and successfully defended it by beating China’s Li Na in last year’s final.