Azarenka, Radwanska advance at French Open

Updated: May 29, 2013


Australian Open champion Victoria Azarenka
and Wimbledon runner-up Agnieszka Radwanska were a pair of winners Wednesday
at the 2013 French Open.

The third-seeded former world No. 1 Azarenka finally played her first-round
match and handled Russian Elena Vesnina on the famed red clay at Stade Roland
Garros, while the fourth-seeded Radwanska came up good in the second round by
pasting American Mallory Burdette 6-3, 6-2 on Day 4.

Rain wreaked havoc on the schedule Tuesday, as it took four days to complete
round one.

“I felt like I’m one of the last ones to start,” Azarenka said. “It was a long
wait, but I think performance-wise it was a good match.”

The reigning two-time Aussie Open champ will face German Annika Beck in round

Radwanska, meanwhile, has never advanced beyond the fourth round in Paris
and was a third-round upset victim here a year ago.

She could’ve faced her sister, Urszula, in the next round if the younger
sibling, who knocked out Venus Williams in the first round, beat German Dinah
Pfizenmaier. Her German counterpart, however, prevailed in 6-3, 6-3 fashion
and will next face the older Radwanska.

Seventh-seeded former Wimbledon champion and 2012 French Open semifinalist
Petra Kvitova outlasted Frenchwoman Aravane Rezai 6-3, 4-6, 6-2 to reach the
second round, while eighth-seeded German Angelique Kerber landed in the third
round with a 6-2, 6-2 spanking of Slovak Jana Cepelova.

Some other second-round results saw 29th-seeded American Varvara Lepchenko get
past Ukrainian Elina Svitolina 7-6 (7-5), 6-1 and former French Open champ
Svetlana Kuznetsova come back to best Slovak Magdalena Rybarikova 1-6, 6-2,
6-2. The Russian veteran Kuznetsova titled here in 2009 and was the Roland
Garros runner-up in 2006.

In other opening-round play involving seeds, No. 12 Maria Kirilenko of Russia
rolled past fellow countrywoman Nina Bratchikova 6-0, 6-1, in-form Estonian
Kaia Kanepi took out No. 23 Czech Klara Zakopalova 7-6 (7-3), 6-2, and
American Jamie Hampton doused No. 25 Czech Lucie Safarova 7-6 (7-5), 3-6, 9-7.
Kanepi has now won six straight matches, coming off her clay-court title last
week in Brussels. Hampton was one of 10 American women to win first-round
matches this week.

Additional opening-round wins came for the aforementioned Beck, Swiss Stefanie
Voegele, Aussie Ashleigh Barty, last week’s Brussels runner-up Peng Shuai of
China, and Slovak Anna Schmiedlova.