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Azarenka & Wozniacki Beat The Heat

Victoria Azarenka and Caroline Wozniacki battled tricky opponents and soaring temperatures to make it through their first round matches in Melbourne. What happened to Wozniacki's water bottle?

Published January 14, 2014 12:14

Azarenka & Wozniacki Beat The Heat
Victoria Azarenka

MELBOURNE, Australia - Victoria Azarenka made a winning start in her quest for an Australian Open three-peat, overcoming the heat and Johanna Larsson to move through the first round in straight sets.

The early goings were anything but easy - Larsson was up a break three times in the first set, including serving for the set at 5-4 and 6-5 - but the No.2-seeded Azarenka eventually squeaked the 72-minute set out in a tie-break and only picked up steam from there, closing it out shortly afterwards, 76(2) 62.

"She played really well," Azarenka said. "I can't say I was surprised by that, but she really went for her shots today. With these conditions, the ball bounces a lot higher, which suits her. It took me a little bit of time to adapt and find my range and my hitting zone. But she's really a very talented player."

With the heat soaring, players have been struggling - but Azarenka seems to have soared through it.

"Those conditions aren't easy, but you can't escape those, and it's the same for everybody. You just have to adapt to it and try to do the best things to prepare for those conditions. I feel pretty good.

"I went to practice afterwards, so I'm okay."

Another early winner on Day 2 was No.10 seed Caroline Wozniacki, who needed just 67 minutes to get past Lourdes Domínguez Lino, 60 62. Wozniacki was asked afterwards about the temperatures.

"The first set I managed to keep my head cool," Wozniacki said. "Every time in the changeovers, ice bags, ice towels, everything - then in the second set I could feel they were starting to heat up even more. I put the bottle down on the court and it started melting a little bit underneath, the plastic, so you knew it was warm. But it was warm for both of us, and it was great to finish the match off in two sets.

"I just had an ice bath now - yeah, I could go out and play another two sets now!"

Wozniacki was actually down a break early in the second set but knew it was important to close well.

"A match will always go up and down. For me it was important to just close it out as quickly as possible. Going down a break in the second set, I wasn't too pleased with myself - I was just like, 'Okay, try to keep the focus. Try and take one ball at a time and try and attack a little bit more out there.'

"Because once she gets time we'll have long rallies and it won't be too much fun."

And Wozniacki's advice for the heat? "Drink a lot of water, take a lot of salt, eat plenty and recover. I got an ice bath after my match because it's important for the body to be fully fit for the next round."

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