Ex-champ ousts Hayman

By Jared Smith

She stood square on centre court and gave it everything but Wanganui's Emma Hayman was the final Kiwi to fall yesterday at qualifying for the ASB Tennis Classic.

Both Hayman and Paige Hourigan had received wildcard entries into the qualifying section at the ASB Tennis Centre.

Hayman beat fellow wildcard Kiwi Imogen Golder while Hourigan fell to South African Chanel Simmonds.

As the only New Zealander left standing at the second round on Sunday, Hayman had the daunting task of playing 2011 classic champion Greta Arn from Hungary.

The 24-year-old gave her all but went down in straight sets to the current 115th world ranked Hungarian 6-3 6-2.

That means the 33-year-old Arn is now a chance to take on New Zealand's best in Marina Erakovic, who will be the only Kiwi in the classic and is drawn to face one of the four qualifiers.

Hayman still drew a lot of satisfaction from her experience and her victory on Saturday, beating Golder 7-5 6-1.

"Was great to get some revenge, as lost to Imogen [in the New Zealand Championship quarterfinal] last week.

"I stepped up and played aggressive tennis, still room for improvement though.

"Served well, first serve scored me a few points. Some days the serve can be on, some days off.

Hayman played on the centre court at the centre on both days, marvelling at the atmosphere.

"This whole experience and opportunity has been absolutely amazing, I am soaking it all in.

"Has been great having Paige up here too. Just the experience and atmosphere young Kiwi players need to be in and learn from."

Hourigan had a tough proposition to face when she drew Simmonds, ranked 177 in the world in October, for her first round opponent.

The 20-year-old Simmonds had won ten singles and seven doubles titles in her career so far.

She proved too strong for the 15-year-old Hourigan, winning 6-0 6-3.

- Wanganui Chronicle

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