Zvonareva wins easily in Auckland, but fourth seed Krajicek upset

Updated: January 1, 2008, 7:43 AM ET
Associated Press

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.

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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 year."

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.

Copyright 2008 by The Associated Press