Stosur eases through in Dubai, Azarenka pulls out

Tue Feb 19, 2013 2:38pm EST
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By Matt Smith

DUBAI (Reuters) - Grand slam winners Samantha Stosur and Petra Kvitova strolled into the second round of the Dubai championships with straight sets wins on Tuesday after Australian Open champion Victoria Azarenka withdrew due to a foot injury.

Former world number one Caroline Wozniacki also went through as the leading players made short work of lower-ranked opponents on a subdued center court.

Seven of the top 10 remain in contention but Belarussian Azarenka decided to rest her injured right foot.

"I have been playing a lot of tennis over the last five days, so going to a new tournament is too much to handle right now - it keeps getting worse," said the world number two.

Australian seventh seed Stosur beat Russia's Ekaterina Makarova 6-3 6-1 after suffering one wobble on the way when she lost her serve to fall 3-2 behind in the first set after slugging an easy cross-court smash wide.

However, that shocked the 2011 U.S. champion into action and Stosur then won 10 out of 11 games as her opponent wilted.

Makarova, 24, scuffed a backhand into the net to lose the first set, while the second was a formality for Stosur.

"The first couple of games were good - I was getting ahead in the games but not winning them - and then I got down that break and that kicked me into gear," Stosur told reporters.   Continued...

Samantha Stosur of Australia hits a return to Ekaterina Makarova of Russia during their women's singles match at the WTA Dubai Tennis Championships, February 19, 2013. REUTERS/Jumana El Heloueh