San Jose, Aug 2 (IANS) Belarusian Victoria Azarenka cruised into the quarter-finals of the Mubadala Silicon Valley Classic with a 6-1, 6-0 victory over lucky loser Anna Blinkova.
Azarenka had been scheduled to face Spanish top seed and World No. 7 Garbiñe Muguruza in the second round of this hard-court event, reports Efe..\
But Blinkova, who had lost in the qualifying stage, took the 2017 Wimbledon champion’s spot after she withdrew from the tournament with an arm injury.
Azarenka used her outstanding return game to dominate the 101st-ranked Blinkova, who won just five of her 24 second-serve points in Wednesday’s lopsided 57-minute contest.
The easy victory came after Azarenka was forced to dig deep to edge Ukrainian Kateryna Bondarenko 6-3, 6-7 (7-9), 7-5 in the first round.
The Belarusian former No. 1 is currently ranked No. 108, and like American great Serena Williams she is trying to rediscover her highest level after a maternity-leave hiatus from the Tour last year.
Next up for Azarenka in Friday’s quarter-finals will be American Danielle Collins, who defeated Belarusian Vera Lapko 6-1, 3-6, 6-1 on Wednesday.