Top-ranked Victoria Azarenka opened her 2013 season with a 6-3, 6-3 win over Germany’s Sabine Lisicki on Wednesday to join No. 3 Serena Williams and fourth-seeded Angelique Kerber in the Brisbane International quarterfinals.
Azarenka, who won here in 2009 without dropping a set, got the better of the No. 37-ranked Lisicki in a match containing nine breaks of serve.
The 23-year-old from Belarus won her first major at the Australian Open last year during a 26-match winning streak to start the season.
Earlier, Angelique Kerber fought back from 5-2 down in the deciding tie-breaker to beat Puerto Rican qualifier Monica Puig, 3-6, 6-4, 7-6 (7) in her second-round match. Sloane Stephens had a 6-3, 6-4 win over Sweden’s Sofia Arvidsson to set up a quarterfinal against fellow American Williams.
Keywords: Brisbane tennis tournament