MELBOURNE,Jan. 20 (Xinhua) -- Two-time defending champion Victoria Azarenka remains on course for her third straight Australian Open title after she beat American Sloane Stephens 6-3, 6-2 in the fourth round here on Monday.
Stephens accidently hit Azarenka in the first set and Azarenka sent a forehand whizzing past Stephens a few games later.
Azarenka broke Stephens' serve to open the second set and then again to take a 5-2. The Belarusian then had no trouble closing out the match.
Azarenka called a medical timeout after she wasted five match points when serving for the match at 5-3 in last year's semifinals against Stephens. After leaving the court for a time-minute medical break, Azarenka returned to break Stephen's serve and to take the match but also a controversial win.
Azarenka's hopes of another victory at the Melbourne Park were boosted by third seed Maria Sharapova's surprise defeat by Dominika Cibulkova, 24 hours after top seed Serena Williams was knocked out.