7 Jan 2009

Top seed wins through at ASB Classic

7:37 am on 7 January 2009

New Zealand number one Marina Erakovic faces a tough second round tennis match against the Russian top seed Elena Dementieva after prevailing in a tight first round match at the ASB Classic in Auckland.

Erakovic beat Nuria Llagostera Vives 7-5 6-4, extracting some revenge for her first round exit in the doubles last night at the hands of the Spaniard and her partner.

On Monday night Erakovic and her American partner Jill Craybas lost their opening doubles match to Llagostera Vives and her Spanish partner.

Erakovic came back on Tuesday to win the first set in her opening singles match in a tie breaker - then was dominating the decider 4-1 before her opponent levelled it up at 4 games apiece.

But as Erakovic identified afterwards, her serve was the difference - she held hers to win the fifth game and then broke Llagostera Vives's to take the match.

Erakovic says she's lucky she had that good service game with her on the day and the win is a big relief after six first round exits.

Her next opponent, the Olympic champion Dementieva, had to come from well behind in the first set to beat Yung-Jan Chan - then reeled off six games in a row to win the first set 7-5.

The world number four looked poised for an easy win when she led 3-0 in the second.

However Dementieva says her Taiwanese opponent's tenacity was a relevation as Chan was on fire in the beginning and stuck with her.

The second seed Caroline Wozniacki of Denmark was the highest profile of the others to progress, also going through in straight sets.