TENNIS

WTA Montreal: Azarenka routs Mladenovic to set up Konta clash, Sharapova also advances

Playing for first time since retiring in the San Jose quarter-finals, the former world No 1 Azarenka scored a dominating 6-0, 6-1 victory.

Former world No. 1 Victoria Azarenka, who was playing for first time since retiring in the San Jose quarter-finals, kicked off her WTA Montreal tournament on Tuesday by dismissing Kristina Mladenovic in straight sets.

Azarenka punched her ticket to the second round with a dominating 6-0, 6-1 victory in just 55 minutes over the former world number 10.

“I feel better,” she said. “It was definitely pretty bad in San Jose to have such a sudden thing with my back.

“I was hoping it would be nothing serious, but sometimes when you’re in the moment and get a really bad spasm, there’s nothing you can do.

“I didn’t really practice much after. I’ve only had one practice session this week.”

Azarenka, who needed a wildcard to get into the Montreal draw, moves on to the second round where she will face British No.1 Johanna Konta.

Azarenka stormed through the first nine games of the match before France’s Mladenovic got on the board.

The two-time Australian Open champion Azarenka eventually rolled through the final three games to get the victory in her first Montreal appearance since 2014.

Elsewhere, Maria Sharapova made quick work of Bulgarian qualifier Sesil Karatantcheva, easily winning 6-1, 6-2 in a renewal of their former teenage rivalry.

“No matter what tournament or who you’re playing against, you have to figure things out as you go. I think I did a good job of that today,” Sharapova said.

Sharapova, a finalist in 2009, performed solidly, defeating Karatantcheva for the fifth time in their five career meetings.

“I was aggressive, I served well throughout the match,” Sharapova said. “I think I did everything a little bit better, especially towards the end of the match.”

The pair were facing each other for the first time in eight years. They played their first three career matches as teenagers, including a fiery affair on the outer courts at the 2004 Indian Wells tournament.

World No.229 Karatantcheva was competing in her first WTA Tour main draw of the season.

Sharapova next faces another Frenchwoman Caroline Garcia, who is ranked sixth in the world. Garcia came from behind to defeat Magdalena Rybarikova in three sets 4-6, 6-1, 6-3 on Tuesday.

Support our journalism by subscribing to Scroll+ here. We welcome your comments at letters@scroll.in.
Sponsored Content BY 

The cost of setting up an employee-friendly office in Mumbai

And a new age, cost-effective solution to common grievances.

A lot has been theorised about employee engagement and what motivates employees the most. Perks, bonuses and increased vacation time are the most common employee benefits extended to valuable employees. But experts say employees’ wellbeing is also intimately tied with the environment they spend the bulk of the day in. Indeed, the office environment has been found to affect employee productivity and ultimately retention.

According to Gensler’s Workplace Index, workplace design should allow employees to focus, collaborate, learn and socialise for maximum productivity, engagement and overall wellbeing. Most offices lag on the above counts, with complaints of rows of cluttered desks, cramped work tables and chilled cubicles still being way too common.

But well-meaning employers wanting to create a truly employee-centric office environment meet resistance at several stages. Renting an office space, for example, is an obstacle in itself, especially with exorbitant rental rates prevalent in most business districts. The office space then needs to be populated with, ideally, ergonomic furniture and fixtures. Even addressing common employee grievances is harder than one would imagine. It warrants a steady supply of office and pantry supplies, plus optimal Internet connection and functioning projection and sound systems. A well-thought-out workspace suddenly begins to sound quite cost prohibitive. So, how can an employer balance employee wellbeing with the monthly office budget?

Co-working spaces have emerged as a viable alternative to traditional workspaces. In addition to solving a lot of the common problems associated with them, the co-working format also takes care of the social and networking needs of businesses and their employees.

WeWork is a global network of workspaces, with 10 office spaces in India and many more opening this year. The co-working giant has taken great care to design all its premises ergonomically for maximum comfort. Its architects, engineers and artists have custom-designed every office space while prioritising natural light, comfort, productivity, and inspiration. Its members have access to super-fast Internet, multifunction printers, on-site community teams and free refreshments throughout the day. In addition, every WeWork office space has a dedicated community manager who is responsible for fostering a sense of community. WeWork’s customised offerings for enterprises also work out to be a more cost-effective solution than conventional lease setting, with the added perks of WeWork’s brand of service.

The video below presents the cost breakdown of maintaining an office space for 10 employees in Vikhroli, Mumbai and compares it with a WeWork membership.

Play

To know more about WeWork and its office spaces in India, click here.

This article was produced by Scroll marketing team on behalf of WeWork and not by the Scroll editorial team.