Tournament 5 Jan 2024

Mixed fortunes for seeds in women’s second round at ASB Classic

by ASB Classic
Mixed fortunes for seeds in women’s second round at ASB Classic

Two seeded players through and two departed as the women’s second round singles got underway at the ASB Classic in Auckland today.

American No 4 seed, Emma Navarro made short work of Elina Avanesyan 6-1 6-2 while Czech Republic’s Marie Bouzkova, ranked No 5, was unchallenged in disposing American wildcard Amanda Anisimova. A former top-25 world ranked player Anisimova was thwarted by a muscle injury after she had impressed in her opening round victory.

Wang Xiyu will sleep well after two three-set tiebreaks today. She overcame the sixth seed and fellow Chinese player Wang Xinyu 7-2 in the 6-3 3-6 7-6 victory.

She returned later to join compatriot Yue Yuan in their first-round doubles clash against second seeds Anna Danilina (KAZ) and Viktoria Hruncakova (SVK). This time she was on the receiving end of the tiebreak, losing 6-4 7-6.

Third seed Lesia Tsurenko from Ukraine started strongly but had to give way to the excellent ground strokes of Frenchwoman Diane Parry who claimed the honours 2-6 6-4 6-1 in her strong start to the 2024 season.

There is a definite New Zealand link into the second round of the doubles Marlborough’s Jade Otway and Te Anau-born Lulu Sun too strong for fellow kiwis, Auckland’s Elyse Tse and Melbourne-based Monique Barry, winning 6-3 6-2.

The second round of singles will be completed tomorrow with top seed Coco Gauff taking on Czech qualifier Brenda Fruhvirtova with much interest in the showdown at the bottom of the draw between second seed Elina Svitolina, the winner of 17 WTA singles titles including the WTA Finals in 2017, and 2021 US Open winner Emma Raducanu from Great Britain.

There was a special moment today when New Zealand’s Erin Routliffe was presented with her official gift after winning the doubles title at the US Open late last year.

Here’s what the winners had to say:

Emma Navarro

“I was happy with my performance today. It’s tough coming back to the match-court after a month or so practice which takes some getting used to. I definitely played some good tennis at times.

“I try not to expect too much before a match and try to focus on things within my control and go out and focus on them and not expect too much about the score or result of the match.

I felt like we had a lot of close games and definitely closer than the scores says.

“I am working hard on the mindset that I do not have to back anything or defend anything I did last year up (after her impressive 2023 year). I want to continue to move forward and improve my game and keep getting better.“

Marie Bouzkova

“I am happy with how I played today. It is a good start to the year. I enjoyed that we had so many fans watching us today. It was great to play in front of them.

“Of course we have so many great players from our country in the past. They are who I look up to and they inspire me for sure. I am happy to get the win like this and looking forward to the next round.

“It is my first time here so I did not have any expectations. I heard it was super-nice and I was excited to be here and happy to lead off the season here and feeling pretty good after a good off-season.”