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Top-seeded Victoria Azarenka advances to third round of U.S. Open

August 29, 2012|By Diane Pucin
  • Top-seeded Victoria Azarenka easily defeated qualifier Kirsten Flipkens in the second round of the U.S. Open on Wedenesday.
Top-seeded Victoria Azarenka easily defeated qualifier Kirsten Flipkens… (Alex Trautwig / Getty Images )

NEW YORK -- Top-seeded Victoria Azarenka beat qualifier Kirsten Flipkens of Belgium 6-2, 6-2 Wednesday in a second-round U.S. Open match. Flipkens is a 26-year-old from Belgium who had practiced on Arthur Ashe Stadium court with fellow Belgian and three-time U.S. Open champion Kim Clijsters. Clijsters wanted to help Flipkens get accustomed to the enormity of the 23,000-seat stadium where she would play Azarenka.

But Azarenka, who won her 50th match of the season over Flipkens, dominated Flipkens off the ground. Azarenka had 15 winners and generally controlled points with her baseline power.

Also moving into the third round was 21-year-old Stanford senior Mallory Burdette. Burdette, who earned a wild card spot in the main draw, beat Lucie Hradecka 6-2, 6-4. Hradecka had recently won an Olympic doubles silver medal for the Czech Republic with her partner Andrea Hlavackova. The Czechs had lost to Venus and Serena Williams in the Olympic gold medal match.

Burdette is ranked only 252nd in the world and had thought she lost her best chance at playing in the main draw of the Open when she lost the NCAA singles title match to her Stanford teammate Nicole Gibbs. The NCAA winner gets an automatic spot in the Open draw. Burdette made her WTA Tour debut earlier this summer at the Stanford event and reached the second round.

Despite her sudden success here, Burdette said she plans to remain an amateur and return to Stanford, where she is majoring in psychology. But her success here might have changed some other goals, or at least the timing. Burdette said she had planned to enter medical school after finishing at Stanford.

David Ferrer, the fourth seed in the men's draw, made quick work of big-hitting South African Kevin Anderson in a men's first-round match. Ferrer won 6-4, 6-2, 7-6 (3).


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