Azarenka first into Melbourne quarters

Melbourne: Victoria Azarenka whipped through her match against Iveta Benesova on Sunday to become the first player to reach the Australian Open quarter-finals.

The Belarussian took 77 minutes to dismantle her unseeded Czech opponent 6-2 6-2 in bright sunshine on Rod Laver Arena and set up a clash against Agnieszka Radwanska or Julia Goerges.

Azarenka, a semi-finallist at Wimbledon last year, faced serious resistance only in the last two games - when Benesova fought off four match points - and sealed victory with a crunching forehand winner.

The 22-year-old won the title over a strong field at the Sydney warm-up event last week and has stormed through the first week at Melbourne Park with four emphatic victories.

Bureau Report

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