SONY ERICSSON OPEN
Azarenka Coasts To 25th Straight Win
by Matt Fitzgerald|
Defending champion Victoria Azarenka recorded her 25th straight victory Sunday night, overwhelming wild card Heather Watson 6-0, 6-2 in the third round of the Sony Ericsson Open.
The World No. 1 converted six of her 14 break point opportunities, winning 23 of her 29 second serve return points to roll past the British teenager in 79 minutes.
"I think it was a good match," said Azarenka. "In the end, it got a little more competitive, so I'm glad I finished strong. In the second set, I could have been a little more disciplined, but a win is a win, and tomorrow is another day."
Azarenka is bidding to win her fifth title this season, after triumphs in Sydney, the Australian Open, Doha and Indian Wells. In the round of 16, the Belarusian will face 16th seed Dominika Cibulkova. A year ago, Azarenka rallied to beat Cibulkova in the third round en route to lifting her second Miami trophy.
"We played here last year, which was a very tough match," Azarenka reflected. "It's going to be difficult but it's a good challenge for me and I'm looking forward to it."
Cibulkova was equally as impressive in her third-round match, dispatching Jie Zheng 6-2, 6-0 in 63 minutes. The 22 year old capitalized on seven of her eight break point opportunities against Zheng to secure her first win over the two-time Grand Slam semi-finalist.
The Slovakian is 1-6 versus Azarenka, having dropped all five of their previous hard-court meetings.
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