Victoria Azarenka has opened the defense of her Australian Open title with a 6-1, 6-4 win over Monica Niculescu of Romania.

Azarenka powered to a 4-0 lead in the opening set over Niculescu, who is winless in singles tournaments on the WTA Tour.

The top-seeded Azarenka was down a service break and trailed 3-0 in the second set before coming back to level the set at 4. She then broke Niculescu's serve in the ninth game before serving out Tuesday's match.

Azarenka could meet No. 3 Serena Williams, who also won Tuesday, in the semifinals at Melbourne Park.

SI Apps
We've Got Apps Too
Get expert analysis, unrivaled access, and the award-winning storytelling only SI can provide - from Peter King, Tom Verducci, Lee Jenkins, Seth Davis, and more - delivered straight to you, along with up-to-the-minute news and live scores.