Venus, Azarenka advance in Qatar

Doha, Qatar ( – Former world No. 1 stars Venus Williams and
two-time champion Victoria Azarenka posted first-round victories Monday at the
Qatar Open tennis event.

The seventh-seeded seven-time Grand Slam champion Williams fought back to beat
Aussie Casey Dellacqua 3-6, 6-2, 6-1, while the unseeded two-time major
titlist Azarenka upended eighth seed Angelique Kerber of Germany 6-0, 6-3 on
the hardcourts at Khalifa International Tennis Complex. Kerber was last year’s
Doha runner-up to 2014 French Open runner-up Simona Halep.

Also on Day 1, Czech Barbora Zahlavova Strycova topped German former Wimbledon
runner-up Sabine Lisicki 7-5, 6-4 and Italian Flavia Pennetta overcame two-
time Grand Slam winner and two-time Doha runner-up Svetlana Kuznetsova of
Russia 3-6, 6-4, 6-2.

This week’s top seeds are Petra Kvitova and No. 3 seed Caroline Wozniacki. A
second-seeded Halep will not defend her title this week after pulling out of
the event.

The 2015 Doha titlist will claim $124,000.