Former world No. 2 Svetlana Kuznetsova crashed out of the ASB Classic this afternoon at the hands of Dutchwoman Kiki Bertens.
Bertens, ranked 63 in the world, recovered from dropping the first set in a tiebreak to take out a 2hr 33min three-set marathon 6-7 (5), 6-2, 7-5.
Kuznetsova's departure is potentially good news for Kiwi No. 1 Marina Erakovic, who is bracketed in the same quarter of the draw.
The 2011 champion, Hungarian Greta Arn, will be back on centre court tomorrow against top seed Agnieszka Radwanska after picking up the final main draw berth thanks to a spot of good fortune.
Arn lost her final round qualifying match to Thai player Nudnida Laungnam. However the withdrawal through injury of Frenchwoman Kristini Mladenovic handed Arn a lifeline when hers was the lucky name drawn at random from the four final round qualifying losers.
Auckland's blustery weather was a major factor as teenaged Canadian wildcard Eugenie Bouchard literally blew out of the tournament.
Bouchard was defeated in straight sets by Russian veteran Elena Vesnina.
Both players struggled mightily on serve, each recording just one hold in the opening ten games of the first set. The wind affected the ball toss so markedly that at one point Bouchard came up with a clean miss when attempting to serve, and she never recovered her composure.
American prospect Christina McHale was the first seeded player to exit, losing in straight sets to Frenchwoman Pauline Parmentier on an outside court.