AUCKLAND, New Zealand -- Top-seeded Vera Zvonareva of Russia
beat New Zealand wild card Sacha Jones 6-0, 6-1 in the first round
of the ASB Classic women's tennis tournament Tuesday.
Zvonareva, a finalist last year in Auckland for the second time,
took only 45 minutes to beat her unranked opponent and advance to a
second-match round against Sofia Arvidsson of Sweden.
"I felt I had a bit of a slow start, but you look at the
scoreboard and it doesn't seem to be like that,'' Zvonareva said.
"It's really tough to assess how I'm playing ... I only lost one
game today so I'm pretty happy. That's a good start to the new
While Zvonareva made a relatively brief appearance on center
court Tuesday at Stanley Street, unseeded Sara Errani of Italy
needed nearly 3½ hours to beat fourth-seeded Michaella Krajicek of
the Netherlands 7-5, 6-7 (4), 6-2.
Errani chased down every ball in searing heat to upset Krajicek,
who struggled late in the match with back and wrist injuries.
"It was really tough, really hot, but finally I won," Errani
said. "I'm not really big so I have to do a lot of running. I have
to play all the time if I want to win."
Second-seeded Maria Kirilenko of Russia beat Kaia Kenepi of
Estonia 6-2, 2-6, 6-3 and No. 7 seed Eleni Daniilidou of Greece
mixed six double faults and 13 clean winners in defeating unseeded
Elena Baltacha of Britain 6-1, 6-2.
"I have to be honest, I was a bit nervous," Daniilidou said.
"Every player is in the same position. We've had a couple of
weeks' break and it's hard to find the rhythm straight away."
The tournament is a lead-up event to the Australian Open,
beginning on Jan. 14.