BIRMINGHAM, England (AP) Victoria Azarenka rallied from 4-0 down in the first set to beat Varvara Lepchenko of the United States 7-6 (7), 6-4 in the first round Tuesday of the Aegon Classic, a grass court Wimbledon warm-up event.
The former top-ranked Azarenka came within one point of losing the fifth game of the opening set five times, but managed to steer clear of trouble with a powerful service game.
However, there were more difficult moments to come, with the Belarussian being a set point down in the tiebreaker and then losing a second set lead of 4-1.
Azarenka was joined in the second round by another former No. 1, Jelena Jankovic, and top-seeded Simona Halep.
Jankovic beat Tereza Smitkova 6-4, 6-4 and Halep defeated Naomi Broady 6-4, 6-2.