Australian Open 2016: Victoria Azarenka beats Danka Kovinic
|Venue: Melbourne Park Dates: 18-31 January|
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Two-time champion Victoria Azarenka gave further evidence she is a title contender at the Australian Open with a swift win in the second round.
The Belarusian, champion in 2012 and 2013, beat Danka Kovinic of Montenegro 6-1 6-2 and will next face unseeded Japanese teenager Naomi Osaka.
Third seed Garbine Muguruza beat Kirsten Flipkens of Belgium 6-4 6-2.
Fourth seed Stan Wawrinka breezed past Radek Stepanek 6-2 6-3 6-4 and eighth seed David Ferrer beat Lleyton Hewitt.
It was the final singles match of Australian Hewitt's career.
'I feel good'
Azarenka's victory followed her dominant 'double bagel' 6-0 6-0 first-round win against Belgian Alison van Uytvanck, and sent another warning to the likes of defending champion Serena Williams and Maria Sharapova.
After a turbulent two years battling injuries, the 14th seed came into the tournament on the back of winning the Brisbane International.
"I think I'm feeling in the best shape body-wise, spirit-wise, everything-wise. You know, my team around me too," said the 26-year-old.
"If you think about it, it's my 12th year being here. Almost half of my life. It's a long time. I still feel young and I think I still have a lot more years to play."
'I was really shaking'
There was a lengthy delay on Rod Laver Arena during the first match of the day - Ana Ivanovic's 6-3 6-3 win over Anastasija Sevastova.
Ivanovic, beaten finalist in 2008, was leading 4-3 in the first set when medical personnel rushed to help a spectator who had fallen on the stairs in the upper level of the 15,000-seat stadium. The players stayed on the court during the break, and were given regular updates from tournament officials.
"I felt really bad," said Ivanovic, the 20th seed. "I was really shaking, because the sound of the lady falling was really loud.
"It just really didn't sound so good. It was actually good that we had to wait a little bit because I was really shaking, because I could imagine and it was not so nice.
"Then they told us she was bleeding, so I hope she's well."
Tournament organisers said the woman was treated in the stadium before being taken by stretcher for observation and more treatment.
Who else went through?
Fernando Verdasco, who beat fellow Spaniard Rafael Nadal in the first round, lost 4-6 6-3 6-3 7-6 (7-4) to Dudi Sela of Israel.
Canada's 13th seed Milos Raonic advanced to the third round by beating Tommy Robredo 7-6 (7-6) 7-6 (7-5) 7-5, breaking the Spaniard's serve to win with the only service break of the match.
Tenth seed John Isner and 23rd seed Gael Monfils were other winners.
In the women's draw, American 15th seed Madison Keys, a semi-finalist last year, battled her way past Kazakhstan's Yaroslava Shvedova 6-7 (4-7) 6-3 6-3 and next faces Ivanovic.
Czech Denisa Allertova beat German 30th seed Sabine Lisicki 6-3 2-6 6-4 and will play Britain's Johanna Konta next.
'Like a dream come true'
China's Shuai Zhang who beat second seed Simona Halep in the first round, continued her giant-killing run by knocking out world number 33 Alize Cornet 6-3 6-3.
The qualifier, ranked 133 in the world, arrived in Melbourne having lost 14 consecutive first-round matches at major tournaments.
"Maybe because I lost 14 times, it gave me a lot more energy to work hard," she said.
"I don't want to check the cell phone right now because there are so many messages. I'm so tired right now. I don't have time to check."
Murray knocks out flatmate Marray
Jamie Murray set aside domestic loyalties to make progress in the men's doubles with Brazil's Bruno Soares.
The pair, seeded seventh after winning in Sydney last week, beat Britain's Jonny Marray and Aisam-ul-Haq Qureshi of Pakistan 6-3 6-4.
Murray and Marray have been sharing a flat in Melbourne, along with fellow British Davis Cup player Colin Fleming.
"I think I'm partly to blame for jinxing it as on the morning of the draw, I said 'I hope we don't get a derby match in the flat,'" Fleming told BBC Radio 5 live. "But we've all played enough matches to get on and be professional.
"Jamie and Bruno look very composed coming off the back of winning in Sydney and will have high hopes here."
Quotes of the day
"I just wanted to qualify. That's all I was expecting. But I don't really like thinking about it too much because it freaks me out." Japanese qualifier Naomi Osaka, appearing in a Grand Slam for the first time, on setting up a third-round meeting with Azarenka by beating 18th seed Elina Svitolina 6-4 6-4.
"Sign the camera? I've never done that before," Germany's world number 97 Laura Siegemund talks about tennis' traditional post-match ritual after beating former world number one Jelena Jankovic 3-6 7-6(5) 6-4.
"I gave him a hug... at the end he was a bit loose," Monfils said after beating fellow Frenchman Nicolas Mahut 7-5 6-4 6-1.
"The dab. D-a-b," said Azarenka about the victory salute she has displayed after winning her first two matches at the Australian Open. It entails leaning into a bended elbow, as if sneezing, and raising the other arm up straight. "It comes from American football. "I think it's really fun. It's entertaining. I love doing it."