Victoria Azarenka started her campaign at the Western & Southern Open with a solid 6-2, 6-3 win over No.15 seed Donna Vekic.

“I’m very happy honestly to win a match. It’s been like a year or so,” Azarenka told reporters after the match.

“I haven’t played a lot, but it’s still like finally to get over that mid-hump a little bit and to be able to close out the match and stay strong throughout the match was super important to me.

“I didn’t really think about Lexington that much today. It was my kind of first tournament back, and, you know, it wasn’t in my favour, but I felt like towards the end I was getting into the rhythm there.

“Today I started from what I was working on there and try and transition that today and start to play better. It’s just when you play against Venus Williams and you finally start playing at 6-3, 4-0, it’s a little too late.

“I was unfortunate there … but in that match, I was able to kind of find something that would work for me maybe later on, which was positive, which I feel is also a bit of a personal growth for me, and build on from that.

“Today was a day that really showed that what I have been working on, can put it in match situation, and I just want to continue to keep going this way.”