Elsewhere, Mainz survived a scare against fourth division club Havelse and booked their berth for the next round.
With the two Mercedes once again the class of the field and pulling away from the rest, much of the interest in the race took place further down the order, as Ferrari's Charles Leclerc was unable to hold onto his third place and was soon passed by several rivals - an embarrassing state of affairs for the storied Italian squad on their 1000th Grand Prix start.
Alexi Stival's men are now sixth in the 20-team standings with 15 points while Sao Paulo are second with 18, two points behind leaders Internacional, who have a game in hand.
With Thiago having announced to leave despite his contract running for one more year, Hoeness assumes the player's new port of call is trying to wait until the last minute and place a cheap offer. "This is incongruous," he added.
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.
With the runner-up finish, Azarenka said she's proud of herself.
West Ham United need to progress under coach David Moyes, but could be in for another difficult season, while few will be betting on newcomers Fulham and West Brom to be far from a relegation struggle that given the differences between the bottom six and the top six or seven sides, will probably be decided by results between direct rivals. Enditem
Ceara moved to ninth with 13 points from 10 matches while Flamengo slipped to fifth, three points behind Internacional.
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.
"We need to give our talents the space to get minutes on the pitch," Hoeness replied.
ZHENGZHOU, China, Sept. 11 (Xinhua) -- China Super League (CSL) side Henan Jianye has signed Spaniard Javier Pereira as head coach, the club said on Friday.