Tennis updates: Lucie Safarova through to ASB Classic second round

Lucie Safarova dispatches countrywoman Denisa Allertova at the ASB Classic. Photo/NZME
Lucie Safarova dispatches countrywoman Denisa Allertova at the ASB Classic. Photo/NZME

Former world top-10 Lucie Safarova has cruised through her opening encounter at the ASB Classic in Auckland, the first player to progress to the tournament's second round.

The left-handed Czech, currently ranked 62nd, needed little more than an hour to dispatch countrywoman Denisa Allertova 6-1 6-2.

Safarova broke serve in three consecutive first-set games and won the final four games of the second set.

Her cause was greatly assisted by seven clean aces and her opponent coughing up nine double faults, the last of which gifted Safarova the victory.

She now awaits a possible second-round match-up with another Czech, fourth-seeded Barbora Strycova on Wednesday.

"I'm really happy that I could perform so well today," the 29-year-old Safarova said post-game.

Soon after the Safarova-Allertova match completed, Japanese Kurumi Nara joined Safarova at the next stage, sweeping aside German wild card Antonia Lottner 6-2 6-2.

Nara jumped all over Lottner's first serve, converting 64% (18/28) of them into points. She now faces the winner between American Lauren Davis and Dutchwoman Kiki Bertens.

On outside courts at the ASB Tennis Centre, American Jamie Loeb and Czech Barbora Stefkova sealed qualifying spots into the event's main draw.

Loeb defeated fellow American Taylor Townsend 7-6 6-1, while Stefkova accounted for yet another Czech, Tereza Martincova, 6-1 6-3.

Former semi-finalist Mona Barthel of Romania also negotiated her way into the field, defeating Slovenian Dalila Jakupovic 6-2 6-1 in qualifying.

Today's top fixtures will see American top seed Serena Williams take on Pauline Parmentier of France this evening, followed by eighth-seeded Croatian Ana Konjuh v Belgian Kirsten Flipkens.

NZ ace Marina Erakovic and Briton Laura Robson team up against Townsend and Pole Alicja Rosolska in doubles on centrecourt this afternoon.

- NZ Herald

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