Kudermetova outlasts Azarenka in Adelaide

Murray Wenzel and Ethan James |

World No.9 Veronika Kudermetova has held off a dogged showing from two-time Australian Open winner Victoria Azarenka to move to the second round of the Adelaide International 2.

Kudermetova, who cracked the top 10 for the first time last year, came from a set down in the 2-6 7-6 (7-4) 6-4 victory on Tuesday that took almost three hours.

“I am really happy about this win, it means a lot against (Victoria),” the 25-year-old said on court after the match.

“Every win, I have a little bit more confidence. It was a really tough match, really up and down.”

The Russian had to fight back from 0-3 down in the second set tiebreak.

Kudermetova, an accomplished doubles player who won five double titles in 2022, will meet countrywoman Ekaterina Alexandrova for a place in the quarter-finals.

Kudermetova made the quarter-finals at the Adelaide 1 tournament last week before being upset by Irina-Camelia Begu.

Australia’s Storm Hunter failed to make it through to the second round, falling to big-hitting Estonian veteran Kaia Kanepi 6-2 6-2.

Earlier, French Open semi-finalist Amanda Anisimova progressed to the second round by dispatching Liudmila Samsonova.

The American, a quarter-finalist at Wimbledon last year and former French Open semi-finalist, benefited from Samsonova’s service wobbles in a 7-5 6-3 win.

The world No.29 lost in the first round of last week’s Adelaide International 1 and, due to the high-quality field, only earned her spot in the second instalment through qualifying.

She battled through that but had few problems against Samsonova, who made just 52 per cent of her first serves and hit seven double faults.

Anisimova will next face Brazil’s much-improved world No.15 Beatriz Haddad Maia.

In other matches, Zheng Qinwen stormed home to beat Shelby Rogers 4-6 6-4 6-0 to book a date with Petra Kvitova while Barbora Krejcikova ousted Alison Riske-Amritraj 6-2 7-6 (7-3).

Anna Kalinskaya upset world No.18 Jelena Ostapenko 6-3 6-4 and Katerina Siniakova was leading 6-1 1-0 when Anastasia Potapova retired.