Two-time Grand Slam winner Azarenka seemed headed for an agonizing loss after being hammered 6-1 by Williams in the first set, but the 31-year-old turned the tide, raising up her level and reducing the unforced errors before securing the 1-6, 6-3, 6-3 victory.
Galhardo put the hosts ahead from close range against his former club and doubled their lead by firing into an unguarded net after some shambolic Ceara defending.
One man down, Ajax nevertheless managed to score and secure the victory. Brazilian signing Antony, who arrived from Sao Paulo FC, gave his team the lead in his league debut. Sparta had chances to equalize in the remainder of the match, but Ajax held on for the win.
Elsewhere on Sunday, VVV-Venlo booked a spectacular 5-3 win at FC Emmen, Heracles Almelo beat ADO Den Haag 2-0 and Vitesse was too strong for RKC Waalwijk, winning 1-0. The FC Utrecht-AZ match was postponed to give AZ more time to prepare for next Tuesday's match at Dynamo Kiev in the third qualifying round of the Champions League.
Around 800 fans witnessed the opening ceremony and the opening match. Newly promoted Chengdu Xingcheng Habitat beat Beijing Renhe 3-2 to bag a winning start.
RIO DE JANEIRO, Sept. 12 (Xinhua) -- Former Bayern Munich and Brazil international right-back Rafinha has admitted that his move to Olympiacos from Flamengo was financially motivated.
CFA stated that all violations of the "Chinese Football Association Disciplinary Guidelines" will be punished strictly. It is hoped that all clubs, officials, and players can jointly maintain the order of the game and the hard-won football development environment.
As the match moved deep into the fifth set, it became more about mental fortitude than technical skill. Zverev fought through nerves by moving forward and was rewarded by breaking Thiem at 4-3 with an aggressive forehand.
CHENGDU, Sept. 12 (Xinhua) -- After over 300 days of waiting, China's second-tier league, the Chinese Football League A kicked off here on Saturday.
"One of the most important things that I was enjoying my time on the court with Laura, she made me feel good on the court," said Zvonareva. "She was very supportive. I think that helped us a lot to get through some tough matches."
Crystal Palace's Wilfred Zaha needed 13 games to get off the mark last season, but needed just 13 minutes this time around as he scored the only goal of the game in his side's 1-0 win over Southampton, who were nowhere near their best in south London and rarely troubled a well-organized home defense.