Tennis: Another first round exit for Erakovic

Marina Erakovic went out in the first round in both Auckland and Hobart. Photo / Dean Purcell
Marina Erakovic went out in the first round in both Auckland and Hobart. Photo / Dean Purcell

Another first round exit for Marina Erakovic in the lead-up to the Australian Open.

The New Zealand number one lost in straight sets 6-4, 6-1 to Belgian second seed Kirsten Flipkens at the Hobart International yesterday. Erakovic also lost in the first round of the ASB Classic in Auckland last week.

Erakovic and doubles partner Jie Zheng are the top seeds in Hobart and play their first match today.

Meanwhile singles top seed Samantha Stosur downed American qualifier Madison Brengle 6-7 (4-7) 6-1 7-6 (7-5) for her first win of the season.

In a rain-interrupted match that finished nearly five hours after it started, Stosur overcame the tough conditions and a determined world No.147 to progress.

Brengle saved four match points before Stosur punched home a volley to convert her fifth in a third-set tiebreaker.

Two rain breaks, wind gusts and temperatures that hovered around 15C made for a gruelling first set before world No.17 clicked into gear to win the second in just 19 minutes.

She broke in the third to lead 4-3 but failed to serve it out, Brengle saving three of the Australian's match points before taking it to a tiebreaker.

Stosur will meet either Spain's Silvia Soler-Espinosa or France's Kristina Mladenovic in the second round as she tunes up for the Australian Open, where she exited in round two last year.

The win will come as a relief after three straight losses at the Hopman Cup in Perth.

A frustrated Stosur had struggled to hold her serve, and find the middle of her racket, in the first.

The 29-year-old saved four break points in a marathon first service game but led 2-1 with a break when the first rain interruption came.

She broke again to lead 4-1 and served for the set at 5-4 but couldn't convert.

A second rain delay of nearly an hour-and-a-half didn't help and, after she'd led the tiebreaker 4-3, Stosur watched Brengle convert her first set point.

The second set couldn't have been more different as a dominant Stosur rediscovered her serve and raced to a 5-0 lead before closing it out.

Earlier on Monday, Australian Casey Dellacqua downed Belgian qualifier Alison Van Uytvanck 6-4 6-4.

Dellacqua will meet American Alison Riske in the second round.

- Newstalk ZB/AAP

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