The Norman Transcript

National Sports

January 14, 2014

Azarenka, Wozniacki advance at blistering Australian Open

(Continued)

MELBOURNE, Australia —

It was the second retirement in as many matches on Court 6. No. 25 Alize Cornet only had to win one game before Polona Hercog of Slovenia retired with an undisclosed injury. Philipp Kohlschreiber of Germany didn’t make it onto court, withdrawing before his first-round match due to a strained left hamstring.

The No. 21-seeded Kohlschreiber was replaced in the draw by Frenchman Stephane Robert, who beat Slovenia’s Aljaz Bedene 7-6 (3), 6-3, 6-0.

With the hot conditions forecast to continue at least until Friday, the higher-ranked players were desperate to progress quickly.

Wozniacki had a 6-0, 6-2 win over Lourdes Dominguez Lino in her first Grand Slam match since her New Year’s Eve engagement to golfer Rory McIlroy, doing everything she could to keep cool.

“Every time in the changeovers, ice bags, ice towels, everything; and then in the second set I could feel they were starting to heat up even more,” Wozniacki said. “I put the bottle down on the court and it started melting a little bit underneath, the plastic, so you knew it was warm.”

Halep had a 6-0, 6-1 win over Polish qualifier Katarzyna Piter, while American Christina McHale advanced 7-5, 6-4 over Taiwan’s Chang Yung-jan and No. 16 Carla Suarez Navarro of Spain beat Vania King of the United States 6-3, 6-2.

The tournament started in milder conditions Monday, with top-ranked Serena Williams capped off the first day with a 6-2, 6-1 win over Ashleigh Barty to extend her winning streak to 23 matches.

Three-time defending champion Novak Djokovic improved his winning streak at Melbourne Park to 22 matches with a routine win over Lukas Lacko of Slovakia.

The loaded top half of the men’s draw starts later Tuesday, with No. 1 Rafael Nadal, 17-time Grand Slam winner Roger Federer, Wimbledon champion Andy Murray and No. 5-ranked Juan Martin del Potro all in action.

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