Tennis: Azarenka crushes Rybarikova to advance at Indian Wells

Victoria Azarenka of Belarus reacts during her straight set win over Magdalena Rybarikova of Slovakia, on March 17, 2016.
Victoria Azarenka of Belarus reacts during her straight set win over Magdalena Rybarikova of Slovakia, on March 17, 2016. PHOTO: AFP

INDIAN WELLS (AFP) - Victoria Azarenka barely broke a sweat as the former world No. 1 routed Slovakia's Magdalena Rybarikova 6-0, 6-0 to reach the Indian Wells semi-finals on Thursday.

Two-time Grand Slam winner Azarenka is also a former champion in the joint WTA and ATP Tour tournament, taking the title in 2012 when she beat Maria Sharapova.

"I started well. I was really aggressive," said Azarenka, who reached the Australian Open quarter-finals this year. "The start was the key for me."

It is the first double bagel in Indian Wells since 2014 when Poland's Agnieszka Radwanska hammered Annika Beck in the round of 32.

Only two of the top 12 seeds on the women's side of the draw have reached the semi-finals - No. 1 Serena Williams and No. 3 Radwanska.

Two-time winner Williams is the only other former Indian Wells champion still in contention.

Azarenka advances to face 18th-seeded Karolina Pliskova, who beat Azarenka in their most recent encounter last year in Brisbane, Australia.

Daria Kasatkina's surprising run at Indian Wells came to an abrupt halt when she was humbled 6-3, 6-2 by Czech Pliskova earlier Thursday.