Auckland Seeds Ace Round 1 Tests

All seeds in first round action advanced, though Julia Goerges was challenged in her Tuesday opener against Greta Arn.

Published January 03, 2012 08:05

Auckland Seeds Ace Round 1 Tests
Julia Goerges

AUCKLAND, New Zealand - A year after Julia Goerges was upset by Greta Arn in the semifinals of the ASB Classic, Goerges sent the defending champion home in first round action Tuesday, but not without a fight.

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The fifth-seeded Goerges turned a 3-2 deficit into a 5-3 lead in the third set of her 75 36 64 triumph, just her second win in five tries against the Hungarian.

"When I arrived in Auckland a week ago, I got sick," said Goerges, who next takes on fellow German Angelique Kerber. "You always think about pulling out, but I'm not that kind of girl - I think I've retired no more than two times in my life. When your energy runs out it's pretty tough to beat a player like Greta, but somehow I managed it. In the end I had a good 10 minutes and she gave me some errors, so I'm lucky to get through."

No.2 seed Peng Shuai also dropped a set, but survived qualifier Aravane Rezai, 46 63 64. The rest of the seeds - No.3 seed Svetlana Kuznetsova, No.6 seed Roberta Vinci, No.7 seed Yanina Wickmayer and No.8 seed Monica Niculescu - all advanced in straight sets. None of them were more impressive than Kuznetsova, a 63 62 winner over qualifier Alison Riske. Next up for the Russian is an encounter with Christina McHale, whom she failed to win a set against in their two previous match-ups.

"The only thing I'm unhappy about here is my internet bill," Kuznetsova joked. "I played here last year and liked it a lot, so that's why I came back. I'm happy about my performance today and am looking forward to doing the same tomorrow against Christina."

Vinci rallied from a 5-0 first set deficit in beating Rebecca Marino, 75 64, Wickmayer topped qualifier Karolina Pliskova, 63 64, and Niculescu defeated qualifier Jamie Hampton, 76(1) 61.

"It was my first match in a long time - five months - but it felt pretty good," said 2010 Auckland champion Wickmayer, who had not played a match since the US Open because of a back injury. "My back is doing well. I've been playing points for only a week now, so it's stiff in a couple of places, but I think that's normal when you're just getting used to it again. I'm really happy to be back and playing without pain, which is the most important thing right now. Everything else is a bonus."

Among the first round doubles victors were Kveta Peschke and Katarina Srebotnik, playing their first match following a season in which they finished as the top-ranked team in the world.

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