Azarenka escapes mid-day sun with easy win over Watson

Melbourne: World number three Victoria Azarenka wasted little time in escaping the late-morning Melbourne heat to open her Australian Open campaign with a 6-1, 6-0 victory over Britain`s Heather Watson on Monday.

The 22-year-old from Belarus was only really tested in the first two games of the opening set when Watson held serve then had a break point in the second game. But the young Briton was never really in the match despite some promising rallies on Rod Laver Arena.

Azarenka, who completed her preparations for the opening grand slam of the year with a 6-2, 1-6, 6-3 victory over China`s Li Na in the Sydney International, ran out the winner in 67 minutes as the temperature flirted with 30 Celsius by mid-day.

The Belarusian will face a second round clash against Australian wildcard Casey Dellacqua, who beat Serbia`s Bojana Jovanovski 6-3, 6-2 on Margaret Court Arena just minutes after Azarenka sealed her win.

Bureau Report