Auckland - Top seed Caroline Wozniacki cruised through to
the second round of the WTA Auckland Classic on Tuesday but other seeded
players struggled in their opening matches of the new year.
The third and fourth seeds Barbora Strycova and Agnieszka
Radwanska were both pushed to three sets, as was number two seed Julia Goerges
on the rain-disrupted previous day.
The other four seeds, including defending champion and fifth
seed Lauren Davis, were all eliminated in the first round.
But there were no problems for Wozniacki after the Dane
recovered from a rough start to romp home 6-3, 6-0 against American Madison
"I didn't really know what to expect. It was my first
match back and I hit some crazy shots in those first few games and I thought
'Wow, this is going well' and then I'd make an easy mistake straight
after," she said.
"I kind of found my ground as the match progressed and
started being more steady and going for my shots when I found the
Radwanska scraped through to the second round in a tough
three-setter against Brazilian Beatriz Haddad Maia.
The Pole was down a break in the third set before rallying
to beat the 21-year-old 6-2, 4-6, 6-2.
"The most important thing, I won the third set,"
"This is the first tournament of the year, so we don't
know how the girls are playing and you've got to start from the beginning.
"So I think there's less pressure after the first
It took Strycova three hours to beat Italian Sara Errani
6-4, 6-7 (3-7), 6-4, with the Czech not fully showing her class until the last
game when Errani was broken to love.
Defending champion Davis was bundled out 6-1, 6-2 by fellow
American Sachia Vickery, who only made the main draw after going through
qualifying without dropping a set.
Another qualifier, Ysaline Bonaventure from Belgium, knocked
out sixth seed Yulia Putintseva from Kazakhstan 6-3, 6-3. Seventh seed Mona
Barthel of Germany also went out in straight sets, losing 6-2, 6-2 to American