July 31, 2018 / 7:11 AM / 4 months ago

Azarenka outlasts Bondarenko in San Jose

FILE PHOTO - Tennis - Wimbledon - All England Lawn Tennis and Croquet Club, London, Britain - July 4, 2018 Belarus' Victoria Azarenka in action during the second round match against Czech Republic's Karolina Pliskova REUTERS/Andrew Couldridge

(Reuters) - Former world number one Victoria Azarenka outlasted Kateryna Bondarenko 6-3 6-7(7) 7-5 at the Silicon Valley Classic on Monday to set up a highly-anticipated second-round clash with top-seeded Garbine Muguruza on Wednesday.

Azarenka took the first set comfortably but faced stiffer resistance in the second from the Ukrainian, who battled hard against the 29-year-old Belarusian on a night when her powerful first serve lacked its usual accuracy.

Azarenka committed 12 double faults and was broken four times but did just enough to edge the defensive-minded Bondarenko, who sent a backhand long on match point to put an end to the marathon match.

Elsewhere, Australian Ajla Tomljanovic defeated Spaniard Georgina Garcia Perez 6-4 6-1 to set up a second-round meeting with second-seeded American Madison Keys.

Nineteen-year-old Sofia Kenin defeated Paraguayan Veronica Cepede Royg 6-4 6-4 and American Danielle Collins fired three aces and won 76 percent of her first service points to dispatch compatriot Danielle Lao 7-6(2) 6-3.

Greek Maria Sakkari cruised to a comfortable 6-2 6-2 win over American Christina McHale, who committed eight double faults and was broken five times.

Tuesday’s action will see 23-times grand slam champion Serena Williams face off against Australian Johanna Konta in their first-round duel in San Jose.

Reporting by Rory Carroll; editing by Sudipto Ganguly

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