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Top-ranked Azarenka breezes by Rus in Austria

LINZ, Austria (AP) -- Top-ranked Victoria Azarenka started off her last tournament before the season-ending WTA Championships by beating Arantxa Rus 6-0, 6-2 Wednesday in the first round of the Generali Ladies.

Two-time former winner Ana Ivanovic also advanced with a 7-5, 6-3 win over Monica Niculescu.

Coming off her win in Beijing, Azarenka dominated the match from the start. The Dutch player double-faulted eight times and won only two points on her serve in the opening set.

Azarenka, who conceded one break and saved three more break points in the second set, will play Simona Halep.

"Being No. 1 means you're more targeted by the other players," Azarenka said. "I just try to stick to my own game."

The 12th-ranked Ivanovic, who won the title in 2008 and 2010, dropped serve once in each set but was in control throughout against Niculescu. Her next opponent is Andrea Petkovic of Germany.

Julia Goerges became the first player to advance to the quarterfinals by defeating Romina Oprandi 6-3, 6-3. Goerges will play Sofia Arvidsson, who defeated Lucie Hradecka 6-4, 7-6 (4).

Patricia Mayr-Achleitner became the only Austrian player to reach the second round by defeating eighth-seeded Sabine Lisicki 6-1, 6-3.

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