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Krejcikova, Kudermetova roll on in Adelaide



World number nine Veronika Kudermetova battled back to beat two-time Australian Open champion Victoria Azarenka and join Barbora Krejcikova in the Adelaide International II second round on Tuesday.

Kudermetova, who had a stunning 2022 in which she claimed almost 40 match wins, triumphed 2-6, 7-6 (7/4), 6-4.

“Of course I’m really happy about this win because it means a lot against Vika,” said Russia’s Kudermetova, 25, ahead of next week’s Australian Open.

“She’s a two-time Grand Slam champion so for me it’s really important to play against that (level of) player and beat them. With every win I have a little bit more confidence.”

A resurgent Krejcikova, who was ranked as high as second in the world last year, won two titles and 10 of her last 11 singles matches to end 2022 on a roll.

She brought that form to Adelaide, beating 2022 finalist Alison Riske-Amritraj of the United States 6-2, 7-6 (7/3) to start her season.

The 2021 French Open champion, now ranked 21, won the last four games of the opening set and secured the match in straight sets after seeing a match point slip by at 6-2, 5-4.

The Czech player’s reward is a clash with fifth seed Daria Kasatkina.

American Amanda Anisimova, semi-finalist at Roland Garros in 2019 and Wimbledon quarter-finalist last season, won her first tour-level match since August, overcoming error-strewn Russian Liudmila Samsonova 7-5, 6-3.

Her progress was in stark contrast to last week’s performance in Adelaide I, where she claimed only three games in a first-round defeat to Kudermetova.

China’s Zheng Qinwen set up a second-round contest with two-time Wimbledon winner Petra Kvitova with a 4-6, 6-4, 6-0 victory over American Shelby Rogers.

In the men’s draw, world number 35 Tommy Paul won his season-opening match 6-4, 7-5 against Australian Christopher O’Connell.

Other winners included Australian John Millman, Dutch veteran Robin Haase and South Korea’s Kwon Soon-woo.



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