Azarenka wins 1st-round match at Australian Open
Azarenka powered to a 4-0 lead in the opening set over Niculescu, who is winless in singles tournaments on the WTA Tour.
The top-seeded Azarenka was down a service break and trailed 3-0 in the second set before coming back to level the set at 4. She then broke Niculescu's serve in the ninth game before serving out Tuesday's match.
Azarenka could meet No. 3 Serena Williams, who also won Tuesday, in the semifinals at Melbourne Park.
Copyright 2013 by The Associated Press
This story is from ESPN.com's automated news wire. Wire index
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