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Petra Kvitova and Victoria Azarenka start their doubles campaign on a winning note

By Akshay Kohli    + Follow

Reads: 1,691, Comments: 0

Keywords: BNP Paribas Open | Sofia-Arvidsson | Varvara-Lepchenko | Ekaterina-Makarova | Chanelle-Scheepers | Marion-Bartoli | Anastasiya-Yakimova | Shahar-Peer | Victoria-Azarenka | Tamira-Paszek | Petra-Kvitova | Simona-Halep | Irina-Falconi | Lesia-Tsurenko | Bethanie-Mattek-Sands
Petra Kvitova and Victoria Azarenka start their doubles campaign on a winning note
World No.1 Victoria Azarenka joined forces with third-ranked Petra Kvitova to win their opening-round doubles match at the BNP Paribas Open in Indian Wells.

The team of Victoria Azarenka and Petra Kvitova won 66 per cent of their return points, breaking their opponents six times to win their team debut in just under an hour. Azarenka is on a 17 match winning streak in 2012, which is highlighted by her first Grand Slam singles title at the Australian Open and triumphs in Sydney and Doha. Kvitova is the reigning Wimbledon and WTA Tour Championships champion.

In first-round of singles, Ekaterina Makarova beat American Bethanie Mattek-Sands 6-2, 6-3. Makarova lost serve just once to claim victory over the American in 79 minutes. Varvara Lepchenko of the United States won a clash between qualifiers, easing past Alexandra Panova 7-6(3), 6-2. Lepchenko will meet Marion Bartoli next, who reached the finals here last year.

Another qualifier Lesia Tsurenko battled past 2011 quarter-finalist Shahar Peer 4-6, 6-3, 7-5. The Ukrainian converted her ninth break of serve late in the third set to advance in two hours and nine minutes. Tamira Paszek defeated Anastasia Yakimova 6-4, 2-6, 6-1 in two hours and 31 minutes. Paszek capitalized on all seven of her break point opportunities.

Slovakian Magdalena Rybarikova rallied to defeat American qualifier Jessica Pegula 5-7, 6-3, 6-3. The 18-year-old Pegula had qualified into her first main draw at a WTA tour-level event. Wild card Irina Falconi, Chanelle Scheepers, Sofia Arvidsson, Simona Halep and Ksena Pervak were among the other first-round winners.

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