10 Jan 2012

Little to write home about again for NZ tennis fans

8:06 am on 10 January 2012

The rain stayed away for almost all of the first day of the Heineken Open in Auckland - but there were still few rays of sunshine for New Zealand tennis fans.

The two national men's representatives in action were unceremoniously bundled out, while across the Tasman, the women's number one player also lost.

The New Zealand men's number one Michael Venus lost in straight sets in tonight's feature match against last year's semi-finalist, Santiago Giraldo of Colombia.

Big-serving Venus found Giraldo's all-round game too much, gave away too many cheap points and lost 4-6 3-6 in just over an hour.

Russian-born Artem Sitak fared even worse in his final qualifier. He won his opening service game against France's Adrian Mannarino - but that was all he won in a 1-6 0-6 thrashing by the world number 87.

The women's number one Marina Erakovic also turned out at the Hobart International. Erakovic fared slightly better against top seed Yanina Wickmayer, but the Belgian still won 7-5 6-4.