Rain was the big winner on day one of the 2017 ASB Classic, with persistent drizzle halting much of the action.
Shortly before 4.00pm, light drizzle and periodic showers kept the players off court for several hours. The bad weather had been forecast in Auckland, and sadly for the fans, it didn’t shy away.
The Results Prior To Rain
Lucie Safarova wasn’t made to work terribly hard, and the World No.62 strolled through her first round opponent. The Czech Republican beat her fellow countrywoman Denisa Allertova 6-1, 6-2 in straight sets in a match went for just over an hour.
19-year old Naomi Osaka has generated a lot of interest heading into the ASB Classic. In a thrilling rise up the ranks in 2016, Osaka has been touted as one of the next big things on the WTA, being voted 2016 Newcomer of the Year.
Now ranked at No.48, Osaka impressed with her power hitting to clinch the First Set 6-2 over German youngster Annika Beck. The rain came down as the Second Set began, forcing the pair from the court.
Three of Four Qualifiers Determined
Nao Hibino and Arina Rodionova are locked in a third set battle to reach the main draw. Meanwhile three of the four qualifying places have been determined. Mona Barthel didn’t drop a set in final two matches to qualify. Barbora Stefkova also reached qualifying by dropping just a set, and Jamie Loeb qualified without dropping a set in routine fashion.
A Look Ahead at the Main Draw
Serena Williams, the big attraction at the 2017 ASB Classic, is still to play her first match. Czech’s Stefkova and #4 seed Barbora Strycova face off in round 1. The biggest round 1 match is likely Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova facing off with Julia Goerges. Venus Williams gets local wild card Jade Lewis, while Caroline Wozniacki will face Nicole Gibbs. Stay with Last Word on Tennis for continued coverage of the 2017 ASB Classic.