9 Jan 2012

NZ men bundled out of Heineken Open

9:55 pm on 9 January 2012

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

The two national men's representatives were unceremoniously bundled out, while in Australia, the women's No 1 also lost.

New Zealand's top player Michael Venus lost in straight sets in the night feature match against last year's semifinalist Santiago Giraldo from Colombia.

Big-serving Venus found Giraldo's all-round game too much. He gave away too many cheap points and was beaten 6-4 6-3 in just over an hour, Radio New Zealand's sports journalist reports.

Artem Sitak fared even worse in his final qualifier first up on centre court.

The Russian-born New Zealand representative won his opening service game against France's Adrian Mannarino - but that was the only thing - going down 1-6 0-6 to the world No 87.

New Zealand women's No 1 Marina Erakovic was also in action at the Hobart International.

The Aucklander fared slightly better against top seed Yanina Wickmayer, but the Belgian still eased home 7-5 6-4.

The other notable result on day one of the Auckland tournament was US seventh seed Donald Young's early exit to unseeded Colombian Allejandro Falla in a three-set upset 4-6 6-3 6-3.