2 Jan 2012

Lisicki through but no joy for Erakovic or Jones at Auckland Classic

10:47 pm on 2 January 2012

The sun came out, the rain stayed away and the top seed Sabine Lisicki won her opening match of the ASB tennis Classic in Auckland - but there was no joy for the two New Zealand women in action on the first day.

Lisicki saw off French wildcard Virginie Razzano 6-4 6-4 in the night feature after New Zealand No.2 Sacha Jones, who becomes an Australian player after the tournament, was eliminated in the singles and national No.1 Marina Erakovic bowed out in the doubles.

Jones battled valiantly in her last match as a New Zealand player, the 21-year-old pushing British No.1 Elena Baltacha to three sets before losing 2-6 6-4 3-6 with Jones battling cramp as well as the windy conditions.

Erakovic and her Canadian doubles partner Rebecca Marino came back from a set and 1-5 down to eventually lose 4-6 5-7 to the second seeds Sania Mirza of India and Russia's Elena Vesnina.

Erakovic, the world No.61, now plays world No.32 Angelique Kerber of Germany in Tuesday night's feature match of the singles.

Joining Lisicki and Baltacha in the second round are two Italians, fourth seed Flavia Pennetta and Sara Errani, plus rising teenage star Christina McHale and Lucie Hradecka of the Czech Republic.

Previous runner-up Pennetta had a first round win, beating Sorana Cirstea of Romania 6-4 7-6 while McHale beat another Romanian, Alexandra Dulgheru, also in straight sets.

Hradecka beat another Italian, Alberta Brianti, 6-4 3-6 6-2 on the back courts.