DOHA, Qatar - Victoria Azarenka won the first match of the Sony Ericsson Championships - Doha 2009 on Tuesday, hitting her big groundstrokes hard and deep to beat Jelena Jankovic in straight sets, 62 63.
Azarenka, the No.6 seed, kept her errors down and took advantage of an erratic No.8 seed, racing out to a 62 31 lead and, after allowing the Serb to get back to 3-3 in the second set, reeling off three more games to close her out. Highlights: Azarenka vs. Jankovic
"I had a good game plan today and followed it well," Azarenka said. "I was also rested. I didn't play the last few weeks so I had everything to give here." Interviews: Azarenka Dominant In Doha
Azarenka had lost to Jankovic three times in a row but she was just too sharp this time, hitting just 15 unforced errors in the match while Jankovic went wild, missing a total of 33 times. And the former world No.1 knew she let it go. Highlights: Day 1
"I struggled throughout the match. I made a lot of unforced errors. My game was completely off," Jankovic said. "That's part of the game though. Sometimes you want to play your best but it just doesn't happen. I just hope I can play better tomorrow, and I'll keep trying my best in this whole competition."
Azarenka is one of two players debuting at the Championships, alongside Caroline Wozniacki. Jankovic is here for the third time, and all consecutive, having fallen in the round robin stage in 2007 and in the semis last year.