Victoria Azarenka pleased to overcome "dangerous" Sloane Stephens

Former two-time champion Victoria Azarenka admits that she was pleased to negotiate "dangerous" rival Sloane Stephens in the first round of the Australian Open.

Victoria Azarenka has admitted that she was relieved to negotiate "dangerous" rival Sloane Stephens in the first round of the Australian Open on Tuesday.

The former two-time champion produced a solid all-round display to win 6-3 6-2 this morning and beat the American in Melbourne for the third year in a row.

The Belarusian has never lost to 21-year-old Stephens, but is aware of her potential and feels that she provided a good opening-round test.

"Sloane is a player that she has really big weapons," Azarenka told the tournament's official website. "She has a really big serve and really heavy forehand.

"The important [thing] is just to try to control the game as much as you can. But I think she has a great potential. She's always been a dangerous player. She just needs to work hard."

Azarenka is unseeded for the tournament, having slipped down the rankings during her long-term layoff with a foot injury, and will face world number eight Caroline Wozniacki in the second round.

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Caroline Wozniacki in action on day two of the Australian Open on January 20, 2015
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