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Azarenka dumps out Venus Williams in Rome

Victoria Azarenka was back in action just days after losing the US Open final to Naomi Osaka
Victoria Azarenka was back in action just days after losing the US Open final to Naomi Osaka Riccardo Antimiani POOL/AFP
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Rome (AFP)

US Open finalist Victoria Azarenka advanced to the second round of the Italian Open with a 7-6 (9/7), 6-2 win over veteran American Venus Williams on Wednesday.

Azarenka, 31, successfully made the switch from hard court to clay after winning in Cincinnati and finishing runner-up to Naomi Osaka in the US Open last weekend.

World No.14 Azarenka needed just over two hours to get past 1999 Rome champion Williams, 40, in a clash between two former world number ones.

Two-time Grand Slam winner Azarenka will meet American third seed Sofia Kenin, winner of the Australian Open this season, for a place in the third round.

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