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Originally published Tuesday, January 1, 2013 at 4:12 AM

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Azarenka beats Lisicki, reaches Brisbane quarters

Top-ranked Victoria Azarenka opened her 2013 season with a 6-3, 6-3 win over Germany's Sabine Lisicki on Wednesday to join No. 3 Serena Williams and fourth-seeded Angelique Kerber in the Brisbane International quarterfinals.

AP Sports Writer

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BRISBANE, Australia —

Top-ranked Victoria Azarenka opened her 2013 season with a 6-3, 6-3 win over Germany's Sabine Lisicki on Wednesday to join No. 3 Serena Williams and fourth-seeded Angelique Kerber in the Brisbane International quarterfinals.

Azarenka, who won here in 2009 without dropping a set, got the better of the No. 37-ranked Lisicki in a match that had nine breaks of serve.

The 23-year-old from Belarus won her first major at the Australian Open last year during a 26-match winning streak to start the season.

Earlier, Kerber fought back from 5-2 down in the deciding tiebreaker to beat Puerto Rican qualifier Monica Puig, 3-6, 6-4, 7-6 (7) in her second-round match. Sloane Stephens had a 6-3, 6-4 win over Sweden's Sofia Arvidsson to set up a quarterfinal against fellow American Williams.

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