Wickmayer, Watson score victories in Auckland.

Defending champion Yanina Wickmayer battled her way into the second round of the ASB Classic in Auckland by beating former world number one Dinara Safina 6-3 6-7 (2/7) 6-1. The Belgian second seed was not at her best, but took advantage of some erratic moments from Safina, who suffered badly with injuries last season. She will next face German qualifier Sabine Lisicki, a 6-1 6-3 win over Florencia Molinero.

There were also wins for the eighth and ninth seeds, Sofia Arvidsson and Carla Suarez Navarro securing straight-set wins over Tamira Paszek and Romina Oprandi respectively. Suarez Navarro will next face Britain’s Heather Watson, a 6-1 6-1 winner over fellow qualifier Noppawan Lertcheewakarn, while there were also victoriues for Alize Cornet, Simona Halep and Greta Arn. The fourth and seventh seeds also secured comfortable progress.

Germany’s Julia Gorges beat Anabel Medina Garrigues of Spain 6-4 6-0, while Russia’s Elena Vesnina saw off local wild card Marina Erakovic 6-2 6-2.


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