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Tennis: Shining Wozniacki puts Azarenka, Sharapova in shade

Published on Jan 15, 2014 8:49 AM

MELBOURNE (AFP) - Victoria Azarenka began her Australian Open title defence in stuttering fashion on Tuesday and Maria Sharapova was also made to fight, in contrast to Caroline Wozniacki who sizzled in the Melbourne heat.

Azarenka, the second seeded Belarusian, struggled in the opening set of her clash with world number 91 Johanna Larsson before finding some rhythm to progress.

It took her an hour and 46 minutes to get past the Swede 7-6 (7/2), 6-2 as temperatures soared towards 42 deg C in a game marred by unforced errors and poor serving.

"Sometimes it can be tricky, you know, to find your range, as it was today a little bit," she said, admitting she still needed to work on aspects of her game.

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