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Azarenka, Williams ease into the third round at Aussie Open

Melbourne, Australia (Sports Network) - Defending champion Victoria Azarenka and 15-time major titlist Serena Williams were both easy second-round winners on Thursday at the Australian Open.

Belarus' top-seeded Azarenka converted on 5-of-8 break chances and took advantage of five double faults by Greek Eleni Daniilidou to cruise to a 6-1, 6-0 victory at Rod Laver Arena.

Daniilidou was eliminated in the second round at this tournament for the second straight year and has not reached the third round since 2004.

The third-seeded American Williams, meanwhile, continued her quest for her sixth Aussie crown with a 6-2, 6-0 pasting of Garbine Muguruza.

The reigning U.S. Open and Wimbledon winner powered past the Spaniard with 10 aces and just one double fault.

14th-seeded Russian Maria Kirilenko and 16th-seeded Italian Roberta Vinci also advanced to the third round as Kirilenko downed China's Peng Shuai 7-5, 6-2 and Vinci took a 6-3, 6-2 win over Uzbekistan's Akgul Amanmuradova.

Vinci has not advanced past the third round in seven previous appearances at this event, while Kirilenko was an Australian Open semifinalist in 2010.

Varvara Lepchenko became the first seeded player to fall on Day 4 after the 21st-seeded American hit six double faults and converted just 1-of-8 break chances against Russia's Elena Vesnina en route to a 6-4, 6-2 defeat.

Vesnina is coming off her first-ever WTA title last week in Hobart.

In a pair of unseeded matchups, Ayumi Morita of Japan earned a 6-2, 6-0 decision over Germany's Annika Beck and America's Jamie Hampton rolled past Thailand's Luksika Kumkhum 6-1, 6-2.

01/16 21:59:18 ET