WTA Pan Pacific Open: Venus Williams claims shock win over Victoria Azarenka
Venus Williams shocked top seed Victoria Azarenka to progress to the third round of the Pan Pacific Open in Tokyo.
By Sam Drury - Follow on Twitter
Last Updated: 24/09/13 2:38pm
The seven-time grand slam winner has endured a difficult season but overcame the world No 2 in straight sets to win 6-2 6-4.
This year is the first time since 2009 that Venus has competed in the Tokyo event and she profited from six double-faults from an unusually out-of-sorts Azarenka.
The Belarusian has battled against Venus' younger sister Serena on a number of occasions this season, including the US Open final earlier this month, but it was the older Williams sibling who got the better of her at the Ariake
"I didn't sleep at all last night," Azarenka said. "You can't play at 20 percent against one of the top players. I've been feeling bad for a couple of days and it just got worse today."
Williams herself has been battling an auto-immune disease in recent years and is currently down at 63rd in the world rankings.
"I've had some issues to say the least," she said. "But I like to think that builds character and I've got a whole lot of character.
"I'm getting better every tournament, my serve is better, my back is better, a lot of things are getting better."
Williams will now face Simona Halep of Romania after the 13th seed won through against the German Andrea Petkovic, 7-6 6-3.
Second seed Agnieszka Radwanska overcame a lengthy first-set battle against Aleksandra Wozniak to win through 7-6 6-0 while fourth seed Caroline Wozniacki eased past Flavia Pennetta 6-2 6-3.
Elsewhere, Svetlana Kuznetsova also advanced by beating third-seeded Sara Errani of Italy 6-4 6-4.
The two-time Grand Slam champion struck seven aces and will next face 15th-seeded Sorana Cirstea of Romania. Other winners included Samantha Stosur, Ana Ivanovic, Dominika Cibulkova and Madison Keys.