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Top seeds fall early at ASB Classic

Published: 1:55PM Monday December 30, 2013 Source: ONE Sport

  • gutherie_jones_dbls_rnd_1 (Source: Photosport)
    Wildcard kiwi doubles pair Abigail Guthrie and Sacha Jones. - Source: Photosport
  • venus_williams_rnd_1 (Source: Photosport)
    Venus Williams in action against Andrea Hlavackova. - Source: Photosport
  • garbine_murguruza_rnd_1 (Source: Photosport)
    Spain's Garbine Murguruza in action. - Source: Photosport
  • rain_asb_classic (Source: Photosport)
    Fans go for the umbrellas as the rain falls during the ASB Tennis Classic Women's International Day 1. - Source: Photosport
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The opening day of the ASB Classic saw two big upsets with seeded competitors losing in both the singles and doubles.

Young kiwi doubles pair Abigail Guthrie and Sacha Jones toppled veteran duo and number two doubles seeds, Cara Black and Marina Erakovic, while earlier in the day, German seventh seed Mona Barthel was bundled out in straight sets to another Austrian, Yvonne Meusberger.

Rain interrupted play on several occasions throughout the afternoon but the skies cleared for the evening's main match between American star Venus Williams and Czech Andrea Hlavackova.

The class of Williams proved too much for Hlavackova, as the 33-year old took out the second set tie-break to win in straight sets.

The seven-time grand slam winner claimed the opening set 6-3, before Hlavackova fought back in a tense second set to set up a tie-breaker at 6-all.

Williams performed perfectly under the pressure of the tie-breaker, which she claimed 7-1 to win the match.

In the evening's final match, Guthrie and Jones defied expectations with their enthralling win over Black and Erakovic.

Black and Erakovic started strongly to take the first set 6-3, and looked on course for a smooth win when they led 4-2 in the second set.

But a huge momentum shift saw Guthrie and Jones storm back to claim the second set 6-4 to send the match into a super tie-breaker.

An enthralling battle ensued with the young pair unable to close the match out, missing several chances on match point before eventually prevailing 13-11.

Earlier, tournament drawcard Ana Ivanovic and partner Kirsten Flipkens came from three match points down to win their opening doubles match.

Ivanovic and Flipkens beat Irina Falconi and Eva Hirdinova 11-9 in a match tie-break, after trailing 9-6.

Ivanovic and Flipkens lost the opening set 4-6, before claiming the second 6-3.

The number-two seed Ivanovic will open her singles campaign against American Alison Riske on centre-court tomorrow afternoon.

Meanwhile, American fifth seed Christina McHale survived a first set scare in a 1-6, 6-0, 6-3 win over Austrian wildcard Tamira Paszek.

Barthel was the highest profile casualty, losing to Meusberger.

Well keep you posted with live results as play continues at the ASB Classic in Auckland.

11.27pm - Huge upset!

The No. 2 seeds in the doubles are gone with youngsters Abigail Guthrie and Sacha Jones toppling Cara Black and Marina Erakovic 13-11 in the super tie-break.

11.19pm - 6-all in the super tie-break!

11.11pm - Gutherie and Jones take the second set 6-4.

11.07pm - Young guns come back

Gutherie and Jones have clawed their way back to lead 5-4 in the second set.

It all looked to be one-way traffic but Black and Erakovic have been caught by surprise in this second set.

10.55pm - Veteran pair holding firm

Black and Erakovic leading 4-2 in the second set.

10.34pm - Black and Erakovic go one up

Black and Erakovic take first set 6-3 over the young New Zealand duo, Guthrie and Jones.

10.10pm - Black and Erakovic with early edge

Black and Erakovic leading Guthrie and Jones 2-1 in the first set.

9.58pm - Doubles showdown

Next up, in the final match of the night, wildcard kiwi doubles pair Abigail Guthrie and Sacha Jones take on Cara Black of Zimbabwe and kiwi Marina Erakovic.

9.43pm - Williams advances

The class of Venus Williams proves too much for Andrea Hlavackova, the American taking the second set tie-break to win in straight sets.

The seven-time grand slam winner claimed the opening set 6-3, before Hlavackova fought back in a tense second set to set up a tie-breaker at 6-all.

Williams performed perfectly under the pressure of the tiebreaker, which she claimed 7-1 to win the match.

9.34pm - Williams levels

Williams ties up the second set at 6-6. Tie-break coming.

9.29pm - Williams fights back

Williams breaks back to level 5-5 in the second set. Back on track for the American!

9.14pm - Tense battle

Hlavackova has extended her lead to 4-3 in the second set. This next eighth game all-important.

8.55pm - Gritty Hlavackova

Hlavackova has produced some aggressive shots to lead Williams 2-1 in the second set.

8.42pm - Williams takes first set

Williams wraps up the first set 6-3. The American led early on before Hlavackova fought back, but Williams' experience shone through, hitting four aces at vital times.

8.38pm - Tight battle on centre court

Andrea Hlavackova is dismayed as Williams claims the serve with the first set in the balance.

8pm - Williams in control early

Venus Williams holds serve and leads 40-15 in the first set over Andrea Hlavackova.

7.50pm - Big match moments away

Venus Williams and Andrea Hlavackova are on centre court and warming up to begin their match.

The weather is clear and fine with the crowd basking in the evening sun and greeting the players with a rousing reception.

7.19pm - Flipkens and Ivanovic prevail

Flipkens and Ivanovic take the win, prevailing 4-6, 6-3, 11-9, to advance to the second round.

The more experienced doubles duo of Falconi and Hridinova looked to have it in the bag before a late surge from their opponents denied them.

Seven time grand slam champion Venus Williams is due up in the next match on centre court, facing wildcard Andrea Hlavackova.

7.05pm - Super tie-breaker

It's one set apiece, with Flipkens and Ivanovic taking the second 6-3 after Falconi and Hridinova took out the first set 6-4.

We're now into the super tie-breaker.

6.28pm - Falconi and Hridinova claim early lead

Falconi and Hridinova took out the first set 6-4. Second set underway...

6.20pm - Relaxed atmosphere

Play has resumed, Flipkens and Ivanovic holding a 4-3 advantage in the first set.

Both teams are smiling and enjoying themselves out there.

6.06pm - Rain reappears...

Play is delayed again as another shower comes over.

5.45pm - Play underway in doubles clash

The rain has cleared (again) and play is underway.

5.31pm - Doubles on centrercourt

The final match of the day session is about to begin, Irina Falconi (US) and Eva Hridinova (Czech Republic) taking on [WC] Kirsten Flipkens (Belgium) and tournament drawcard Ana Ivanovic (Serbia).

The players are out on court but the rain is back...

5.25pm - Hampton prevails

American Jamie Hampton advances to the second round after defeating Tamira Paszek 1-6, 6-0, 6-3.

The first two sets were split, Paszek dominating the first before Hampton climbed back in the second, before finishing the job.

The match was blighted by 93 unforced errors!

5.18pm - Paszek persists

The rain was shortlived and play quickly resumed. Hampton edges out to a 5-3 lead in the third set against Paszek, who just won't go away.

5pm - Hampton leads, rain returns...

Rain rears its ugly head again as Jamie Hampton leads Tamira Paszek 3-2 in the third set.

The players are remaining on court in the hope this shower passes quickly.

4.38pm - Hampton draws level

We're going to a third set, Hampton claiming the second 6-0 over Paszek, after losing the first 6-1.

4.23pm - Hampton finding her feet

Hampton. the fifth seed, is building into her work after a slow start. The American leads Paszek 3-0 in the second set.

4.10pm - Error-ridden start for Hampton

Paszek breezed through the first set 6-1, remaining composed and accurate, while Hampton produced 19 unforced errors in a frustrating start for the American.

3.56pm - Paszek starts strongly

Paszek leads her more fancied opponent Hampton 3-0 in the first set.

3.44pm - Tamira Paszek (Austria) v Jamie Hampton (US) underway

Fifth seed American Jamie Hampton takes on Austrian wildcard Tamira Paszek in today's second singles match on centre court.

Paszek is serving first to Hampton.

3.30pm - Murguruza too strong for McHale

Spain's Garbine Murguruza has caused a stir in the first centre court match of the ASB Classic in Auckland.

Murguruza won in straight sets 6-4, 6-3 over the more-fancied American Christina McHale.

Meanwhile, Mona Barthel is the first seeded player to exit the tournament, the German seventh seed beaten 6-4, 6-3 by Austrian Yvonne Meusberger.

3.16pm - Murguruza in control

Spaniard Murguruza regains serve and takes command of the match with a 5-2 lead in the second set.

3pm - Murguruza maintains

Murguruza holds serve early in the second set and leads McHale 2-1.

2.40pm - McHale fighting back

Murguruza regains serve but McHale has fought back to cut the Spaniard's lead to 5-4 in the first set.

2.20pm - Christina McHale (US) v Garbine Muguruza (Spain) underway

The first round is officially underway at the ASB tennis Classic after a rain delayed start.

Unseeded American Christina McHale was in control early on in her match against Spain's Garbine Murguruza, but now finds herself trailing 4-1 in the first set.

2pm - Clear skies

After intermittent rain all morning in Auckland, the ASB Classic schedule is about to get underway starting with Christina McHale and Garbine Muguruza before the headliners Venus Williams and Ana Ivanovic make way for local hope Marina Erakovic in the doubles.

[WC] Andrea Hlavackova (Czech Republic) v Venus Williams (US)
[WC] Abigail Guthrie (NZ)/Sacha Jones (NZ) v Cara Black (Zimbabwe)/Marina Erakovic (NZ)

Court four
Sharon Fichman (Canada) v Richel Hogenkamp (Netherlands)
Kristina Barrois (Germany)/Renata Voracova (Czech Republic) v Chin-Wei Chan (Taipei)/Yi-Fan Xu (China)

Court two
Coco Vandeweghe (US) v Kristyna Pliskova (Czech Republic)
Aravene Rezai (France) or Sachie Ishizu (Japan) v Paul Kania (Poland) or Grace Min (US)

Results from the Auckland Classic Women's Singles Round 1 matches on Monday:

Venus Williams (US) beat Andrea Hlavackova (Czech Republic) 6-3 7-6(1)
Kurumi Nara (Japan) beat Alexandra Cadantu (Romania) 6-1 4-0 (Cadantu retired)
5-Jamie Hampton (US) beat Tamira Paszek (Austria) 1-6 6-0 6-3
Johanna Larsson (Sweden) beat Lourdes Dominguez Lino (Spain) 7-5 6-0
Karolina Pliskova (Czech Republic) beat Paula Ormaechea (Argentina) 7-6(2) 6-1
Yvonne Meusburger (Austria) beat 7-Mona Barthel (Germany) 6-4 6-3
Garbine Muguruza (ESP) bt Christina McHale (USA) 6-4 6-3