Auckland - The top two seeds Venus Williams and Ana Ivanovic were shock first round losers in the WTA Auckland Classic on Tuesday.
35, the tournament top seed and defending champion, was beaten in three
sets by 18-year-old Russian Daria Kasatkina, while Ivanovic went down
in straight sets to British qualifier Naomi Broady.
On a day when
the big names struggled, another former world number one Caroline
Wozniacki made it through to the second round but with an unconvincing
display against the world number 57 Danka Kovinic.
an uncharacteristic 73 unforced errors against Kasatkina and after
battling to take the first set 7-6 in a tiebreak she dropped the next
two 3-6, 3-6.
In the third set, Williams opened up a 3-1 lead
before losing five straight games to former French Open junior champion
Broady, who only learned Monday she was in the main
draw after coming through the qualifying tournament, fired down 14 aces
to overpower Ivanovic 7-5, 6-4, winning the second set and match on a
Tournament third-seed Wozniacki, who was beaten by
Williams in the final last year, moved into the second round with a
straight sets win over Montenegro's Kovinic.
However, the win was
not as comfortable as the 6-4, 6-4 scoreline indicated with Wozniacki
down four games in the first set before reeling off seven straight
When the Dane appeared to be in command going into the
second set, Kovinic fought back to break her service twice before
Wozniacki regained control.
"It wasn't a great start for me," Wozniacki said.
"Then I won seven games in a row and felt like it was getting there, but it's always tough with the first match of the season."
Schiavone, the 2010 French Open champion was shown an early exit after a
marathon three setter against Austria's Tamira Paszek.
Schiavone made 28 unforced errors and served 12 double faults before going down 7-6, 4-6, 6-3.