Tennis: Erakovic in doubles exit

Marina Erakovic. Photo / Getty Images
Marina Erakovic. Photo / Getty Images

Marina Erakovic has suffered her second first round exit at the Australian Open in three days after losing her opening doubles match with partner Heather Watson today.

The New Zealander and the Brit fell in straight sets to ninth seeds Anna-Lena Groenefeld of Germany and Kveta Peschke of the Czech Republic 6-4 6-0.

The defeat means Erakovic has gone five straight years of being knocked out in the first round of the doubles in Melbourne.

The Kiwi number one was ousted in the singles on Monday after going down to French opponent Alize Cornet 7-5 6-7(3) 10-8.

Meanwhile in the singles, defending champion Victoria Azarenka sent out a powerful warning to her rivals after blasting her way into the third round.

The world No.1 said she was back in competitive mode following a near whitewash of Greek player Eleni Daniilidou.

Azarenka skipped through with a 6-1 6-0 victory which took her just 55 minutes to complete.

She is set to move further forward in her next encounter when she meets the winner of the match between American Jamie Hampton and Thai Luksika Kumkhum.

"Today was much better,'' Azarenka said after her match.

"I felt like I am back in the competitive mode in the tournament and more focused and that was the best part for me.''

She tore through the opening set in only 24 minutes but was helped when Daniilidou double-faulted twice while facing break points.

Azarenka broke serve at will in the second set as she shut out her opponent, who had beaten her in their only previous encounter, five years ago in Paris.

Following her win in last year's Open, Azarenka went on to reach the Wimbledon semi-finals and the US Open final.

However, she admitted a repeat season would not be easy.

"It would be pretty difficult to duplicate something like that,'' she said. "All I can do is try.''

Sixteenth-seeded Italian Roberta Vinci also made light work of her second-round match.

Vinci reached the third round with a 6-3 6-2 win over Uzbekistan's Akgul Amanmuradova.

- nzherald.co.nz/AAP

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