Cincinnati Open: Multiple-time titlist, Victoria Azarenka enters R32

Madison Keys and Belinda Bencic were the seeds who'd to bid adieu early on

by Abbey Johnson
Cincinnati Open: Multiple-time titlist, Victoria Azarenka enters R32

Victoria Azarenka took her place in the second round of the Cincinnati Open, on Tuesday. Azarenka's won the title here on two separate occasions, once in 2013 and then again, in 2020. The former world no. 1 posted a win over 11th seed Barbora Krejcikova in their first-round clash.

After an hour and 45 minutes of play, the 34-year-old won 6-3, 7-5 against the Czech. In the second set, Krejcikova led Azarenka 5-2 and even served for the set in the ninth game. However, she never even got a chance to win even a point in that game and Azarenka made good of that break back by consolidating it to love in the 10th game.

A second break in the 11th game allowed Azarenka to serve for the match and although she faced two break points in that game, she was able to extricate herself from problems by squashing them both convincingly, en route to serving out the match.

In the second round, Azarenka will play Donna Vekic. The Croatian got past Jennifer Brady, 7-6(5), 7-5.

Cincinnati Open: Contrasting results for Caroline Garcia, Ons Jabeur

Another Cincy winner, the 2022 titlist, Caroline Garcia, however, didn’t fare all too well in her return to the WTA 1000 as the champion.

Sloane Stephens crafted the Frenchwoman’s exit from the event. After two hours and 20 minutes of play, the former US Open titlist posted a 4-6, 6-4, 6-4 win over the sixth seed in their second-round match. Two other seeds who made their way out of the tournament in the first round itself were 13th seed Belinda Bencic and 15th seed Madison Keys.

Spain’s Cristina Bucsa stunned the Swiss 4-6, 6-3, 6-2 in a match that lasted two hours and 29 minutes. Bucsa, who qualified to play in the main draw, will now play Jasmine Paolini. Elise Mertens, meanwhile, got past Keys 6-3, 3-6, 6-3.

Mertens’ next opponent will be Marie Bouzkova. The Czech won against Irina-Camelia Begu 6-2, 6-2. Lastly, the 2023 Wimbledon finalists also made their way ahead at the Cincinnati Open. Marketa Vondrousova who won the Championships beat fellow Czech Katarina Siniakova, 7-5, 6-4.

The fifth-seeded Ons Jabeur, who’s making a return to the tour since tragically losing the Wimbledon final to Vondrousova, needed to pool all her tactical resources in her second-round match. Playing against Anhelina Kalinina, Jabeur survived from being 5-1 down to the Ukrainian in the deciding set to finally clinch a 6-3, 6-7(2), 7-6(2) victory.

Photo Credit: The Tennis Letter Twitter

Victoria Azarenka Madison Keys Belinda Bencic