Promising Kiwi teenager Rosie Cheng missed a golden opportunity for a career-boosting victory at the ASB Classic yesterday.
Facing world No132 Richel Hogenkamp of the Netherlands in the first round of qualifying, the unranked New Zealander went down 6-7 (5) 6-2 2-6 in just under two hours.
It was a credible effort - but could have been even better. Cheng was up 4-1 in the first set and then missed an open forehand at 5-3 on serve in the first set tiebreak. To her credit Cheng showed great fight to come back in the second set, before the experience of her opponent told in the third.
"I've got no regrets," said Cheng. "I played well and went for all my shots. There were some moments but overall I was happy with my performance."
Hogenkamp is no slouch and has been on the tour since 2009 but Cheng pushed her to the limit, with some big serving and aggressive shot making.
Fellow Kiwi Joanna Carswell, who hasn't played at this level in almost a decade, was completely outclassed early against Czech Andrea Hlavackova, winning just five points in the first set as she lost 6-0. She showed some resolve in the second, before going down 6-4.
Elsewhere matches went to form with second seed Kurumi Nara, 2014 ASB semifinalist Kirsten Flipkens and fifth seed Monica Puig all advancing to the second round which will be played today.