Azarenka, Sharapova advance; Errani ousted at Wimbledon

11:19 AM, Jun 24, 2013   |    comments
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Wimbledon, England (Sports Network) - Victoria Azarenka and her fellow former world No. 1 Maria Sharapova reached the second round, while former French Open runner-up Sara Errani was a stunning opening-round loser Monday on opening day at The Championships, Wimbledon.

The second-seeded Azarenka whipped Portugal's Maria Joao Koehler 6-1, 6-2 on Court 1, while the third-seeded Sharapova got past capable Frenchwoman Kristina Mladenovic 7-6 (7-5), 6-3 on the grass on the famed Centre Court at the storied All England Club.

The career Grand Slam winner Sharapova captured her lone Wimbledon title in 2004 and was the 2011 runner-up at the prestigious event. The Russian star was this month's French Open runner-up to Serena Williams and also lost to Williams in last year's Olympic gold-medal match here at the All England Club.

The Australian Open champion and U.S. Open runner-up Azarenka suffered a knee injury while up a set and 1-0 in the second against Koehler.

The Belarusian star, who is no stranger to injury drama, wound up doing a split behind the baseline at one point and injured her right knee, which required treatment on three separate occasions. When the injury occurred, Azarenka was laying on the court crying and screaming.

Azarenka hobbled around the court a bit after the injury, but had no problem advancing on Day 1.

Her second-round opponent will be former top-10 player Flavia Pennetta of Italy.

Earlier Monday, it didn't take long for the first upset to occur, as Puerto Rico's Monica Puig ousted the fifth-seeded Errani at the year's third Grand Slam event.

Puig claimed a 6-3, 6-2 victory over Errani, who has not had much success on the Wimbledon grass. The Italian was making her sixth visit and has never been past the third round. Clay is clearly her favorite surface, evidenced by a surprise run to the final at last year's French Open and a semifinal appearance at Roland Garros earlier this month.

This is the first Wimbledon appearance for the 19-year-old Puig, who reached the third round at the French Open.

Serbia's Ana Ivanovic battled through a tough first set against Frenchwoman Virginie Razzano, then rolled in the second to complete a 7-6 (7-1), 6-0 triumph, while another Serbian former world No. 1, 16th-seeded Jelena Jankovic, handled Aussie Johanna Konta 6-2, 7-5. The former French Open champion Ivanovic, seeded 12th this year, has advanced past the fourth round just once in eight previous Wimbledon visits -- a semifinal run in 2007. The former U.S. Open runner-up has never reached the quarterfinals at Wimbledon.

Meanwhile, 19th-seeded Carla Suarez Navarro drubbed fellow Spaniard Lourdes Dominguez Lino 6-2, 6-2; 22nd-seeded Romanian Sorana Cirstea subdued Swiss Stefanie Voegele 7-5, 7-6 (7-3); Czech Eva Birnerova upended 26th-seeded American Varvara Lepchenko 6-2, 4-6, 6-4; 27th-seeded Czech Lucie Safarova leveled American Lauren Davis 6-4, 6-0; and 29th-seeded Frenchwoman Alize Cornet overcame American Vania King 4-6, 6-3, 6-1.

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