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Raducanu in ominous form with Azarenka demolition, Swiatek brings up 50th win of season

By Ben Somerford

Cincinnati, August 18: Reigning US Open champion Emma Raducanu maintained her promising form with a dominant performance against former world number one Victoria Azarenka in the second round of the Western & Southern Open on Wednesday (August 17).

Raducanu, who eliminated 23-time major winner Serena Williams on Tuesday (August 16), dropped only two games against the Belarussian, winning 6-0 6-2 in one hour and two minutes.

The Briton was ruthless with 5-0 aces and 18-10 winners, converting five of six break points throughout a lopsided match.

Raducanu had claimed the second set against Williams 6-0 and maintained that by winning the first frame to love inside 30 minutes against Azarenka.

The 19-year-old did not let up in the second set to clinch a third-round meeting with seventh seed Jessica Pegula, who beat Ukrainian Marta Kostyuk 6-7 (5-7) 6-1 6-2.

Iga Swiatek brought up her 50th win of the season to ease into the third round with a 6-4 7-5 victory over Sloane Stephens.

The Polish world number one triumphed in 99 minutes, hitting 17 winners but also 25 unforced errors. Swiatek's record for 2022 is 50-6, with 39 straight-set victories.

Swiatek will next face American Madison Keys who won 6-4 7-5 over 16th seed Jelena Ostapenko.

Wimbledon finalist Ons Jabeur had to save three match points but overcame world number 179 Caty McNally 6-3 4-6 7-6 (9-7).

The Tunisian fifth seed will take on two-time Wimbledon champion Petra Kvitova next, after the Czech won 6-2 6-3 over Sorana Cirstea.

Elise Mertens won 7-6 (7-3) 6-3 over Karolina Pliskova while Zhang Shuai defeated Ekaterina Alexandrova 6-3 6-4.

Wimbledon champion Elena Rybakina won 6-3 6-1 over eighth seed Garbine Muguruza to set up a third-round clash with Alison Riske who had a walkover against Marie Bouzkova.

Anna Kalinskaya was forced to retire against sixth seed Aryna Sabalenka after feeling unwell. Sabalenka was leading 6-3 4-1 and will next face Shelby Rogers.

Rogers and Veronika Kudermetova progressed courtesy of walkovers against Amanda Anisimova and Simona Halep respectively.

Kudermetova will play Australian Ajla Tomljanovic who fought back from a set down to knock out third seed Paula Badosa 6-7 (3-7) 6-0 6-2.

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Story first published: Thursday, August 18, 2022, 11:34 [IST]
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