Latest 2 Jan 2012

Pennetta wins in Auckland return

Pennetta wins in Auckland return

Fourth seed Flavia Pennetta of Italy had her hands full with Romania's Sorana Cirstea but the 2010 ASB Classic runner-up battled the wind and her opponent to advance to the second round 6-4 7-6 (5).

The big hitting Romanian fought off four match points but Pennetta was able to close her out before Cirstea was able to force a third set. The Italian, who did not play in 2011, was happy to be back in Auckland. "It's nice to be back," she said. "I've got good memories from playing here."

The US' Christina McHale, the youngest player in the top 100, started off first round action on centre court with a convincing 6-2 6-3 win over Alexandra Dulgheru of Romania. McHale, making her Auckland debut, said she was pleased with her first match back after the offseason.

Elena Baltacha of Great Britain won her first round match in a tough tussle with Kiwi Sacha Jones in front of the Brit's new Federation Cup captain, Judy Murray. Jones nearly let a big second set lead go but managed to force a third only to see Baltacha close out the match 6-2 4-6 6-3.

Other winners on the day include Italy's Sara Errani and Lucie Hradecka of the Czech Republic.

In the qualifying final round, two young Americans made the main draw with Alison Riske and Jamie Hampton both advancing. 2008 ASB Classic runner-up Aravane Rezai of France and Karolina Pliskova of the Czech Republic also made it through the qualifying rounds.

Full scores from today are found here.

The night matches are still in progress under the lights.

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