Victoria Azarenka gains 2nd round
BEIJING -- Top-ranked Victoria Azarenka and No. 2 Maria Sharapova advanced to the second round of the China Open on Monday.
Azarenka routed Alize Cornet of France 6-1, 6-0, while Sharapova had a harder time knocking off Simona Halep of Romania 7-5, 7-5.
Azarenka is hoping to rebound from last week in Tokyo, where she withdrew after feeling dizzy in the third round.
Azarenka has won four times this year, including the Australian Open. Sharapova won her first Grand Slam title in four years at the French.
Caroline Wozniacki of Denmark, seeded 10th, also advanced, beating Chanelle Scheepers of South Africa 7-5, 6-7 (8), 6-2. Lara Arruabarrena-Veinco of Spain defeated Zheng Jie of China 6-2, 6-4.
Other first-round winners included Sorana Cirstea of Romania and Carla Suarez Navarro of Spain, who upset fourth-seeded Petra Kvitova of the Czech Republic.
In the first round of the men's draw, fourth-seeded Marin Cilic of Croatia, last year's runner-up, lost to Marius Copil of Romania 3-6, 6-7 (0), 6-4.
American Sam Querrey defeated Fernando Verdasco of Spain 5-7, 6-3, 6-4.
Florian Mayer of Germany, Carlos Berlocq of Argentina and Alexandr Dolgopolov of Ukraine also won.