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Erakovic rues missed opportunities

Published: 8:12PM Wednesday January 02, 2013 Source: ONE Sport

Kiwi tennis No. 1 Marina Erakovic was ruing missed opportunities after  her second round defeat to Jamie Hampton at the ASB Classic today.

Erakovic started slowly and never really got going despite making a brief comeback in the second set, but was clear on where she went wrong against her little known opponent.

"I felt like Jamie really was teeing off at the start and just connecting well and I just wasn't quite able to get my ground and get things together," Erakovic explained at the post-match media conference.

"I feel I did that better in the second. I definitely had my chances but was just a little short."

The 24-year-old said she was not put off by her sluggish start, saying she expected opportunities to come her way as she recovered to twice break the American and serve for the set..

"I knew Jamie is the type of player that can come out swinging and she can really play well but sometimes she just lets up a little.

"It's not consistent always so I knew I'd get my chance sooner or later.

"I didn't feel like I started playing heaps better but I just managed to maybe get a few more balls on the court and if you lose the first set like that you shouldn't get disheartened. You know, it's a three set match."

Erakovic could not pinpoint the reasons behind her slow start after her strong opening day form but conceded her movement around the court lacked energy at crucial times.

"Just could be a little bit of nerves, could be just a little bit surprised she was making a lot of balls and I just wasn't seeing it as well as she was, so it can make a big difference," she explained.

"I really tried to get it (movement) going but sometimes if a player gives you a little bit and you get a few rallies going, it's a bit easier to get that going.

"I just had no rhythm especially in that first set. It just flew by and then I tried my best in the second. I felt I moved a little bit better but it's tough.

"Your body sometimes doesn't do what your mind is telling it to do."

Erakovic also shrugged off the question of whether she finds it most difficult to perform in front of a home crowd rather then when competing abroad.

"It is tough to play here for sure but is it the toughest, I don't know. It's always tough wherever you go," she said.

"For me, I really like to do well here because I have a lot of support, a lot of friends come out, and it's nice to do well and I try my best but you can't always be super-duper every day."

"I had a lot of chances through that second set so it definitely hurts but then again Jamie played some great points and she deserved to win today."

Having played her first game yesterday since the US Open in September was no excuse she added.

"It's always tough for anyone coming in to the first round, second round of the new year but yeah, I haven't played since the US Open.

"Sometimes you do get a groove going after you've got a few matches under your belt.

"But then again I came out first round yesterday and I played pretty solid so I can definitely do it I just have to keep at it and there's a lot more tournaments coming up."

Erakovic is scheduled to take part in the qualifiers for the Sydney tournament starting on Friday but her involvement depends on how far she progresses with doubles partner Heather Watson.