Melbourne: Two-time Australian Open champion Victoria Azarenka stormed through a grudge match with Sloane Stephens yesterday to set up a mouth-watering second round clash with close friend and eighth seed Caroline Wozniacki.
Caroline Wozniacki celebrates a point yesterday. Pic/Getty Images
Azarenka, ranked just 44 at Melbourne Park after an injury-marred 2014, showed why she is regarded as the most dangerous unseeded player at this year's tournament when she brushed aside the American 6-3, 6-2.
Wozniacki faced a tougher assignment against teenager Taylor Townsend, a former junior champion at Melbourne Park who showed no sign of nerves in her first appearance in the main draw. The 18-year-old, ranked 99 in the world, went toe-to-toe with the Dane, who eventually prevailed 7-6 (7-1), 6-2 in 92 minutes.
Meanwhile, fourth seed Petra Kvitova ground out a straight sets win over Dutch qualifier Richel Hogenkamp.