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Azarenka beats Errani in 2013 WTA Championships opener

Updated: 2013-10-23 23:07
( Xinhua)

Azarenka beats Errani in 2013 WTA Championships opener

Victoria Azarenka of Belarus hits a return to Sara Errani of Italy during their WTA tennis championships match at Sinan Erdem Dome in Istanbul, October 22, 2013. [Photo/Agencies]

ISTANBUL - Belarusian Victoria Azarenka beat Italian Sara Errani 7-6 (7-4), 6-2 in the opening match of the WTA Championships in Istanbul on Tuesday.

The world number two looked down in the first set as she fell 2- 5 behind, but Errani failed to serve it out three times before Azarenka fought back to force the tie-break.

Errani hurt her right calf in the third game of the second set and took a medical time-out to have it treated. Errani returned to break Azarenka's serve to level at 2-2 but she did not win another game though. Azarenka took and broke the Italian twice more to close out the match 6-2.

The last time Azarenka met the 26-year-old Errani in Amelia Island of the US in 2008 when the Belarusian won 3-6, 7-5, 6-4.

It is the fifth such tournament for Azarenka. In 2011 the Belarusian played in the final where she lost to Czechia's Petra Kvitova. Last season she suffered a defeat at the hands of Russia' s Maria Sharapova and in 2009 and 2010 she failed to get out of the group.