Sports

Azarenka crashes out in second round

Former world No. 1 blames early exit on inconsistency and carelessness

Victoria Azarenka admits she has her work cut out if she wants to reclaim the world No. 1 spot.

The Belarusian - playing just her third match since March, after sustaining a left foot injury in January - was beaten 6-3, 3-6, 7-5 by Serbian world No. 45 Bojana Jovanovski in the second round at Wimbledon this morning (Singapore time).

The eighth seed said she will have to be tough on herself to restore her place in the tennis pecking order.

"It's consistency. It's not enough. It's a little bit too many mistakes, like not closing the opportunities and not being sharp enough.

"There are a lot of things that still have to be tuned and practised. It basically goes down to work," said the two-time Australian Open winner.

"I had to start from somewhere. It didn't really matter where it was. I had to start playing and see if I could aplay pain-free.

"It's a build-up and I'm going to have to just work hard. I have a lot of work to do. It's as simple as that."

Australian Open champion Li Na, a three-time quarter-finalist, swept to a 6-2, 6-2 victory over Austria's Yvonne Meusburger, hitting 33 winners to just four from the world No. 38.

Second seed Li, 32, goes on to face Barbora Zahlavova Strycova of the Czech Republic.

LITTLE AND LARGE

Five-time champion Venus Williams, 34 and playing in her 17th Wimbledon, defeated pint-sized Japanese Kurumi Nara 7-6 (7/4), 6-1 in a battle of little and large on Court 3.

Williams will now face 2011 champion Petra Kvitova in the third round.

Polish fourth seed Agnieszka Radwanska, the 2012 runner-up, also went through with a 6-4, 6-0 win over Australia's Casey Dellacqua.

In the men's draw, top seed Novak Djokovic survived a testing Centre Court examination by Czech veteran Radek Stepanek to reach the third round.

Djokovic, the 2011 champion, carved out a 6-4, 6-3, 6-7 (5/7), 7-6 (7/5) victory over the 35-year-old Czech, who has now lost 11 of the pair's 12 meetings.

Defending champion Andy Murray handed out a tough Wimbledon lesson to Slovenia's Blaz Rola, a former US college champion, coasting to a 6-1, 6-1, 6-0 win over a grasscourt rookie playing just the 10th match of his career.

The British third seed eased to victory in just 84 minutes, hitting seven aces and 27 winners against the world No. 92 and goes on to face Spanish 27th seed Roberto Bautista Agut for a place in the last 16.

"It's his first year on grass so it was tough for him. But he has a good game and he'll keep improving," said the world No. 5.

Spanish seventh seed David Ferrer failed in his bid to reach an 18th consecutive third round at a Grand Slam when he was knocked out by Russian qualifier Andrey Kuznetsov.

The 32-year-old Ferrer last failed to reach the third round at a Grand Slam at the 2010 Australian Open, but Kuznetsov, the world No. 118, claimed a famous 6-7 (5/7), 6-0, 3-6, 6-3, 6-2 win to reach the third round for the first time.

Also heading for the exit was French Open semi-finalist Ernests Gulbis, with the 12th seed losing to Sergiy Stakhovsky of the Ukraine, 6-4, 6-3, 7-6 (7/5).

Czech sixth seed Tomas Berdych, the 2010 runner-up, beat Australia's Bernard Tomic 4-6, 7-6 (7/5), 7-6 (7/3), 6-1 while Bulgarian 11th seed Grigor Dimitrov defeated Australian teenager Luke Saville 6-3, 6-2, 6-4. - AFP.

OTHER RESULTS

Men's second round:

  • Jimmy Wang bt Mikhail Youzhny (x17) 7-6 (7/1), 6-2, 6-7 (5/7), 6-3
  • Marin Cilic (x26) bt Andreas Haider-Maurer 3-6, 6-1, 6-4, 6-4
  • Roberto Bautista (x27) bt Jan Hernych 7-5, 4-6, 6-2, 6-2
  • Kevin Anderson (x20) bt Edouard Roger-Vasselin 7-6 (7/0), 1-6, 6-3, 6-4
  • Fabio Fognini (x16) bt Tim Puetz 2-6, 6-4, 7-6 (8/6), 6-3
  • Aleksandr Dolgopolov (x21) bt Benjamin Becker 6-7 (4/7), 7-6 (7/0), 6-3, 6-4

Suspended due to darkness:

  • Sam Querrey level with Jo-Wilfried Tsonga (x14) 6-4, 6-7 (2/7), 7-6 (7/4), 3-6, 9-9

Women's second round:

  • Lucie Safarova (x23) bt Polona Hercog 7-6 (9/7), 7-5
  • Dominika Cibulkova (x10) bt Alison Van Uytvanck 3-6, 6-3, 8-6
  • Ekaterina Makarova (x22) bt Misaki Doi 7-5, 6-4
  • Lauren Davis bt Flavia Pennetta (x12) 6-4, 7-6 (7/4)
  • Caroline Wozniacki (x16) bt Naomi Broady 6-3, 6-2
  • Barbora Zahlavova Strycova bt Elena Vesnina (x32) 6-4, 6-2