Australian Open 2014: Victoria Azarenka!
Australian Open 2014: Victoria Azarenka battles into second round…
Defending champion Victoria Azarenka overcame stifling heat and a sluggish start to reach the second round of the Australian Open.
Opponent Johanna Larsson twice served for the first set but the second-seeded Belorussian fought back to take it on a tie-break, eventually winning 7-6 6-2.
Former world number one Caroline Wozniacki raced into round two as she beat Lourdes Dominguez Lino 6-0 6-2.
Temperatures reached 37C early on in the day and could rise above 40C later.
Rod Laver Arena
Azarenka (Blr) beat Larsson (Swe) 7-6 6-2
Azarenka’s quest to become the first woman since Martina Hingis (1997-99) to win three consecutive Australian Open titles began slowly as she toiled against world number 91 Larsson.
But after squandering the chance to take the first set at 5-4 and then 6-5 on serve, Swede Larsson was punished as the second seed stepped up a level, winning the tie-break before breaking in the third game of the second set to assume complete control.
“It was a tough first set,” said Azarenka. “The first match can often be tricky and the weather was not helping. It was important to win that first set and I really found my rhythm in the second set.”
Duckworth (Aus) v Federer (Swi)
Seppi (Ita) v Hewitt (Aus)
Nadal (Spa) v Tomic (Aus)
Mattek-Sands (US) v Sharapova (Rus)
Wozniacki (Den) beat Dominguez Lino (Spa) 6-0 6-2
Wozniacki took just 66 minutes to make it through to round two, a relief for the Dane given the soaring temperatures. “Geez, it feels hot out there,” she said. “It feels like I was sweating in a sauna.
“It’s really tough. I was just trying to take the ice towel as much as I could and try not to think about the heat, like I was in Alaska or something.”
Tsonga (Fra) v Volandri (Ita)
Radwanska (Pol) v Putintseva (Kaz)
Murray (GB) v Soeda (Jpn)
Margaret Court Arena
Halep (Rom) beat Piter (Pol) 6-0 6-1
Schiavone (Ita) v Cibulkova (Svk) 
Jankovic (Ser) v Doi (Jpn)
Williams (US) v Del Potro (Arg)
Harrison (US) v Monfils (Fra)