5 Jan 2012

Top seeds struggle at ASB Classic in Auckland

6:55 am on 5 January 2012

The top seeds are falling like flies at the ASB tennis Classic with just three left in the tournament following a day of upsets in Auckland.

The number one seed and world No15 Sabine Lisicki is still there but only just after struggling past fellow German Mona Barthel 7-6 3-6 6-3.

Lisicki struggled throughout, making 66 unforced errors, as she battled to advance to today's quarter-finals where she'll face countrywoman Angelique Kerber, who upset fifth seeded compatriot Julia Goeges 6-2 6-3.

The second seed Peng Shuai was the biggest name to fall, knocked out 4-6 3-6 by the Czech Republic's Lucie Hradecka while the sixth-seeded Italian Roberta Vinci went down 3-6 4-6 to Russian Elena Vesnina, who'll play fourth seed Flavia Pannetta, also from Italy, in today's quarterfinals.

Pannetta beat Britain's Elena Baltacha 6-4 6-2 earlier in the day.

In the late match the seventh seeded Belgian and former ASB winner Yanina Wickmayer was beaten by Italian Sara Errani 6-4 1-6 1-6, the shock loss meaning the tournament will crown a first time champion in 2012.

The third seeded Russian Svetlana Kuznetsova had the easiest win of the three remaining seeds with the two time Grand Slam champion thrashing American Christina McHale 6-1 6-1 and will face Errani in today's quarter-finals.