WTA AUCKLAND & SHENZHEN: Kuznetsova and Niculescu through, Vandeweghe ousted



by TALAL DAR

WTA AUCKLAND & SHENZHEN: Kuznetsova and Niculescu through, Vandeweghe ousted

Tennis- The 2004 US Open and 2009 French Open Champion Svetlana Kuznetsova and fifth seed Sloane Stephens booked their places in the second round of the ASB Classic Auckland WTA Tournament whereas third seed Camelia-Irina Begu, fourth seed Monica Niculescu and seventh seed Zarina Diyas went through to the second round in Shenzhen.

Here are the results of Monday: Auckland (4) Svetlana Kuznetsova (Russia) def Mona Barthel (Germany) 6-2 1-1 ret The fourth seed was always in control as she easily broke the German in the opening game of the match.

Barthel was not serving well as she made 6 double faults and got broken again in the seventh game, as Kuznetsova won the first set 6-2. Barthel called for a trainer at 1-1 in the second set and retired as she could not continue due to sickness.

Irina Falconi (USA) def (8) CoCo Vandeweghe (USA) 5-7, 6-4 6-3 In an all American affair, World No.76 Falconi fought hard with her 39 ranks higher opponent in the first set as they were level at 5-5, but then 8th seed got the break and won the first set 7-5.

Second set was also close as Falconi saved 7 out of 8 break points and broke Vandeweghe in the 10th game to take the second set 6-4. In the third set Falconi again got the vital break and won it 6-3. The winner converted 5 out of 10 break points in the match whereas Vandeweghe converted only 4 out of 20.

It was the longest match of the day as it lasted for 2 hours and 34 minutes. (5) Sloane Stephens (USA def Polana Hercog (Slovenia) 6-3 6-3 Another American Sloane Stephens booked her place in the next round with an easy, straight sets win over World No.73 Hercog.

World No.30 Stephens converted 6 out of 9 break points she got and got through even though she was broken 3 times but would want to improve her serve in the next match. Alexandra Dulgheru (Romania) def Alison Van Uytvanck (Germany) 1-6, 6-2, 6-4 Dulgheru had won in straight sets when they met 4 years back but this time World No.

44 Van Uytvanck, who is 25 ranks higher than her opponent, won the first set easily by breaking twice. But then Dulgheru got the momentum and converted four out of six break points to win next two sets easily. Nao Hibino (Japan) def Mariana Duque-Marino (Colombia) 6-2 2-6 7-5 The match between World No.68 and World No.76 Duque-Marino was very evenly poised after 1 hour and 50 minutes as both won first two sets 6-2, 2-6 and were tied at 5-5 in the final set, but at the end Japanese nailed it reached the next round.

Carina Witthoeft (Germany) def Tatjana Maria (Germany) 6-2 7-6 (3) In an all German match, 20-year-old Witthoeft proved too good for her 8-year older compatriot Maria, as she won the first set easily 6-2 by breaking twice.

Maria fought hard in the second set and she forced the set into the tie-break but lost 7-3 to go out. Jelena Ostapenko (Latvia) def Johanna Larsson (Sweden) 6-1 7-5 The 18-year-old Latvian was too good for her 9-year older and 28 ranks higher opponent as she won the first set 6-1 by breaking the serve twice.

Both players broke each other once in the second set as they were tied at 5-5 but then World No.84 Ostapenko got the vital break and served out the match. Also Read: Previews of WTA Tournaments this week in Auckland, Shenzhen and Brisbane *Shenzhen Results on second page*

Irina Begu Monica Niculescu Zarina Diyas