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Victoria Azarenka of Belarus makes a backhand return to Sloane Stephens of the U.S. during their fourth round match at the Australian Open tennis championship in Melbourne, Australia, Monday, Jan. 20, 2014.
MELBOURNE, Australia—Victoria Azarenka remained on track for a third consecutive Australian Open title with a 6-3, 6-2 win over American Sloane Stephens in a fourth-round match Monday.

Azarenka, who has seen two major contenders for her title—Serena Williams and Maria Sharapova—lose in the past 24 hours, broke Stephens' serve to open the second set and then in the seventh to lead 5-2 before closing out the match.

The match was a replay of the pair's acrimonious semifinal last year when Azarenka took a medical timeout just when it appeared Stephens was getting momentum.

Stephens hit Azarenka in the hip area with a shot at the net in the first set on Monday, and Azarenka sent a forehand whizzing past Stephens a few games later.