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Erakovic off to clinical start in Charleston

Published: 10:31AM Wednesday April 04, 2012 Source: ONE Sport

New Zealand number one Marina Erakovic has powered past the Czech Republic's Karolina Pliskova 6-2, 6-4 to progress to the second round of Family Circle Cup in Charleston, USA today.

Erakovic, who is the number 17 seed at the first clay court tournament of the season, needed just one hour and 13 minutes to get past the Czech qualifier and will meet Anna Tatishvili of Georgia, who is ranked 80th in the world, for the first time in the next round.

Despite only landing 48% of her first serves in play, Erakovic was ruthless on return in the first set. The current world number 45 converted 2/4 break point opportunities in the opening set as she quickly took control of the match.

The second set saw the New Zealander's first serve improve markedly to 68% but Pliskova, who is ranked in 125 in the world, fought back to win her first break point of the match before Erakovic got two of her own to seal the result.

Despite the withdrawal of number one seed Agnieszka Radwanska, who earlier this week beat Maria Sharapova to win the prestigious Sony Ericsson Open title, the Charleston tournement still has a strong field.

Marion Bartoli of France, who ended world number one Victoria Azarenka's unbeaten run this season with victory in Miami, has been installed as top seed.

American Serena Williams has been put into third-seeded Bartoli's original slot, while Sam Stosur remains second seed.

Should Erakovic get past Tatishvili in the second round she is drawn to meet Serena in a dream third round clash.