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As it happened: Kiwi, superstars win on Day Two at ASB Classic

Tournament organisers will be smiling after the two main draw cards of the 2015 ASB Classic made winning starts to their seasons on Day Two.

Fans were also left in great spirits after local hope Marina Erakovic triumphed late at night to progress to the second round for the just the second time in the past five years.

The Kiwi fought back from a break down in the final set to score a hard-fought 7-5, 2-6, 6-4 victory over doubles partner Monica Puig under the lights on Centre Court.

Erakovic will face a tough test in the next round against Czech No. 4 seed Barbora Zahlavova Strycova, but she leads 2-1 in their head-to-head series.

The most impressive winner on the day was evergreen American superstar Venus Williams.

The 34-year-old veteran is showing no signs of slowing down as she fired a warning shot to the rest of the field.

Williams, the No. 3 seed, lost just a single game against Slovakia's Jana Cepelova, as she aims to go one step better than her runner-up performance in 2014.

Top seed Caroline Wozniacki was also untroubled as she eased through her opening round match in straight sets against qualifier Julia Glushko.

There were still some upsets on Day Two, as former grand slam champions Svetlana Kuznetsova and Francesca Schiavone were both sent packing as they fell to qualifiers earlier in the day.

Tomorrow sees an action-packed schedule with all second round matches due to take place as the 16 players left in the field vie for a spot in the quarterfinals.

22.37 - Erakovic - "I felt the crowd lift me up."

Marina Erakovic talks to media following her first round win at the ASB Classic on Tuesday night.

The Kiwi says the home crowd helped in the third set.

"It feels really good to hear the cheers and the support."

The 2008 semifinalist says she changed her tactics after the second set.

"I tried to play a little more aggressive in the third set," admitting that "some of the shots [Puig] hit were 'wow'".

Erakovic says she's played her next opponent Zahlavova Strycova several times in the past so she knows her game, adding that the Czech doesn't hit with as much power as Puig.

The Kiwi has won two of her three matches against the No. 4 seed.

22.23 - Erakovic wins!

The Kiwi delights the crowd to come through 7-5, 2,6, 6-4. A fantastic win for Erakovic, which must also come as a great relief to finally get into the second round in Auckland again.

She now goes on to face a tough clash against No. 4 seed Barbora Zahlavova Strycova tomorrow afternoon for a place in the quarterfinals.

22.17 - The Kiwi hits her stride as she holds serve to move within one game of victory 5-3.

The crowd is on the edge of their seats.

Marina Erakovic hits a forehand in her first round match at the ASB Classic.

22.15 - Erakovic gets the break!

The Kiwi delights the crowd by cranking her forehand as she grabs a crucial break to take the lead for the first time in the set.

She's now won four of the last five games to lead 4-3.

22.12 - Games remain on serve at 3-3 and the crowd starts chanting "let's go Marina, let's go", as they try and will the local favourite to victory.

21.58 - Signs of life from Erakovic get the crowd back into the match on Centre Court.

Puig had control of the set by snaring an early break, but the Kiwi lifts her game and thumps a forehand winner crosscourt to break straight back, earning rapturous applause.

The Aucklander is now serving at 1-2 to try and level the set.

21.43 - Erakovic gets one of the breaks back, but her higher-ranked opponent returns the favour to take the second set 6-2.

We're going the distance in the last match of the night.

Can the Kiwi improve on last year and reach the second round?

21.37 - The Kiwi finally gets on the board in the second set but it looks like it'll only delay the inevitable, as Puig serves up 5-1 as a third set looms.

 

Caroline Wozniacki in action during her win on Day Two at the ASB Classic.

21.29 - Erakovic has gone off the boil in the second set as Puig starts to unleash some killer forehands into the corners.

She pummels her way to a 4-0 lead over a muted Centre Court crowd.

21.21 - Wozniacki - "It wasn't the prettiest match"

Caroline Wozniacki talks after her win on Day Two at the ASB Classic.

The No. 1 seed says it wasn't an easy match and "the first match of the season is always tough".

The World No. 8 says the "atmosphere was great" and the crowd made her "feel very welcome".

The Dane says she had a chance to explore some of Auckland yesterday going to Waiheke Island and great Barrier Island.

She joked that she went on a sea plane because "I'm not a fan of helicopters".

Wozniacki says she's been in training since November when she had a two-week holiday following her completion of the New York Marathon.

21.15 - First set to the NZ'er!

Erakovic makes no mistake on the second time of asking as she holds serve without dropping a game, finishing of the set with a powerful ace.

The crowd roars in approval as the Kiwi moves to within a set of the second round.

21.11- Erakovic attempts to serve out the set at 5-4 but gets broken by the stubborn Puig.

The Kiwi then breaks the Puerto Rican straight back and she'll have another go at trying to claim the first set. 

20.40 - The World No. 76 continues to impress, playing solid tennis with hard-hitting rallies becoming the norm.

Erakovic serves up 3-2 in the first set.

20.33 - Erakovic gets an early break as her opponent gifts her some unforced errors.

The Kiwi takes a 2-1 lead as the sun sets above the ASB Tennis Centre.

Puig has never won a main draw match at the tournament in two visits to Auckland, while Erakovic last made the second round in 2013.

The Kiwi made a run to the semifinals in 2008 where she beat top seed Vera Zvonareva.

20.26 - If the first game is any indication this could be a very long match, as Puig withstands a breakpoint and several deuces to hold serve after eight minutes to open proceedings on Centre Court.

20.12 - While we await the beginning of the Kiwi's match, we can update you on doubles action on the outside courts.

It's good news for the top two seeded teams as Vinci/Errani come out on top in a super tiebreak and Hlavackova/Hradecka easing past Schiavone/Hantuchova 6-4, 6-4.

Erakovic and Puig make their way on court and this shapes up to be a close encounter, with the Puerto Rican at 59 in the rankings and the Kiwi not far behind at 76.

20.05 - The Auckland crowd now awaits the arrival of the lone Kiwi in singles action as Marina Erakovic gets ready to take on her doubles parter Monica Puig of Puerto Rico.

19.58 - Wozniacki waltzes into Round Two

The tournament's top seed will be happy with her effort, coming out a comfortable winner in her first match of the year 6-3, 6-2 over the Israeli qualifier Glushko.

The Dane delights her fans by blowing kisses to crowd and hits balls to spectators while "Sweet Caroline" plays on the loudspeaker.

The World No. 8 moves on to play American wild card Taylor Townsend in the next round, who impressed in her win yesterday over former champion Yanina Wickmayer.

19.51 - The Dane, who's besties on the tour with Serena Williams, grasps another break of serve as she marches towards victory.

The No. 1 seed will serve for the match up 5-2 in the second set.

19.41 - Wozniacki moves closer to victory as she earns another break early in the second set.

She backs that up with a hold of serve to lead 3-1.

19.30 - Venus Williams feels like a "hometown girl".

Speaking at a press conference, the former World No. 1 says it was great playing in front of the Auckland crowd who "appreciate every point".

"It was very nice. I was very welcomed," she says, adding that she doesn't get that type of reception everywhere she plays.

She also says she feels "comfortable" playing here and has been trying to make her famous sister join her.

"I was just on the phone telling Serena to come. I'll try to influence her."

The five-time Wimbledon champ says it's "great to see a lot of Americans with a lot of talent" and she also has a "good feeling" about this season.

Venus Williams speaks at a press conference after her first round win on Day Two at the ASB Classic.

19.22 - Wozniacki takes the opener.

Showing some solid serving, the 2014 US Open finalist halts the run of games from Glushko as she holds at the second time of asking to take the first set 6-3.

Over on the outside court, the World No. 1 doubles pairing of Roberta Vinci and Sara Errani have lost the first set 6-2 to Ukraine's  Yuliya Beygelzimer and Eva Hrdinova of the Czech Republic.

The No. 2 seeds in doubles are having more success, as Hradecka/Hlavackova lead by a set over Schiavone/Hantuchova.

19.14 - The crowd gets behind the underdog as she finally holds serve before breaking the top seed with some aggressive groundstrokes.

The Dane is still in control of the first set as she leads 5-2.

19.07 - Wozniacki is in no mood to hang around on Centre Court, sprinting out to a 5-0 as Glushko struggles to keep balls in play. 

19.01 - The former World No. 1 wastes no time in stamping authority on the match against the qualifier, racing to a 3-0 lead in front of a sold-out Centre Court.

18.27 - The stands are beginning to fill up in anticipation for the top seeded Dane, who is taking on the World No. 154 in Glushko.

18.04 - The fans are leaving the stadium as the night crowd begins to file in.

After a packed day session attention now turns to the evening session where tournament top seed and World No. 8 Caroline Wozniacki will take the the court against Israeli qualifier Julia Glushko, followed by Kiwi Marina Erakovic who is taking on her doubles partner Monica Puig of Puerto Rico.

17.57 - Venus races to victory!

A splendid effort by the former World No. 1 who was utterly dominant in a ruthless 6-1, 6-0 display that took just 52 minutes.

The smiling American says "it's great to be back in Auckland" during her on-court interview.

The No. 3 seed will go on to play last year's quarterfinalist Kurumi Nara of Japan in the second round.

17.54 - Williams cruises to a 5-0 lead as her opponent can do little to halt the flow of winners coming from the American.

The No. 3 seed will serve for a spot in the second round.

17.47 - Cepelova is struggling on serve and she squanders yet another service game with a double fault, as Williams races to a 6-1, 3-0 lead.

No. 3 seed Venus Williams of the USA debuting her Ola collection from her Eleven by Venus clothing line.

17.42 - The World No. 19 crushes another forehand winner to break the Slovakian's serve for the third time in the match as she leads 1-0 in the second set.

There's a three-set battle taking place out on Grandstand between Flipkens and Larsson, with the Swede coming back to take the second set 6-1 and force a decider.

The unseeded pair are locked 1-1 in the third set.

17.34 - First set to Williams.

The former World No. 1 was made to work in the last couple of games but she held tough to serve out the first set 6-1.

17.24 - The No. 3 seed finds herself down a couple of breakpoints but serves her way out of trouble as she forges ahead 5-0 in the first set.

Cepelova calls for her coach to come out on court as she tries to get on the board.

Former French Open champion looks to the skies during her first round loss on Day Two.

17.13 - Williams starts in style as she strides out to a 3-0 lead in the first set over the Slovak.

The 34-year-old is looking extremely focused out on Centre Court to the delight of her fans.

17.02 - Tennis legend in action on Centre Court.

The stands are packed to the rafters with spectators as the crowd applauds enthusiastically for No. 3 seed Venus Williams, who's wearing a blue and white striped zebra-style top with a green skirt.

The tennis icon also has her own clothing line called Eleven.

The seven-time grand slam winner was runner-up here to Serbia's Ana Ivanovic and she's made no secret that she'd love to go one step better and claim the trophy on Saturday.

The World No. 19 is up against Jana Cepelova, the World No. 57, who defeated Venus' sister Serena last year on the clay courts of Charleston in South Carolina, US.  

16.44 - Kuznetsova crashes out

The No. 5 seed becomes the third seeded player and second former grand slam champ to be bundled out in the first round.

Hradecka notches a great comeback victory 3-6, 7-6, 6-4 and the result continues a great day for qualifiers following Urszula Radwanska's win over another former French Open champion Francesca Schiavone.

Tournament organisers will be hoping that No. 3 seed and former World No. 1 Venus Williams will halt the exodus of seeded players are she takes to the court next up against Slovakian 21-year-old Jana Cepelova.

Over on Grandstand, Sweden's Johanna Larsson is serving to force a tiebreak down 5-6 against former top 20 player Kirsten Flipkens of Belgium.

16.32 - Upset alert!

No. 5 seed Svetlana Kuznetsova is perilously close to losing in the first round as Hradecka moves ahead 5-2 in the third set thanks to another break.

She'll now have two chances to try and serve out the match - something the Russian failed to do when she led 6-5 in the second set.

16.26 - Games continue on serve as Hradecka remains ahead in the final set.

She's serving up 3-2 as the clouds disappear on a hot Tuesday afternoon.

16.13 - The World No. 153 continues to play well above her current ranking, taking it to the No. 5 seed with some punishing forehands.

Hradecka breaks to lead 2-1 in the final set.

A spectator shows some love on Day Two at the ASB Classic.

16.03 - Hradecka takes the second set in a tense tiebreak, shrieking in delight as she converts her set point.

After breaking the Russian as she served for the match, the Czech qualifier dug in deep at the end of the set, hanging tough to steal the tiebreak 8-6.

So we're going the distance on Centre Court and Venus Williams will have to continue waiting a bit longer in the longer room as she waits for the conclusion of this match.

A couple of other matches have ended on the outside courts though, as Russian Elena Vesnina came through in straight sets over Kristina Mladenovic 7-6, 6-2.

She next goes on to face rising star Ana Konjuh in the second round.

Marina Erakovic remains as New Zealand's lone participantion left in the draw after Kiwi's Katherine Westbury and Rosie Cheng could only muster two games against Anna Tatishvili and Petra Martic in the doubles.

15.49 - Facing two set points, the Russian ramps up her level of play to hold serve and then goes on to break Hradecka in the following game to take the initiative 6-5 in the second set.

Kuznetsova will now serve for a place in the second round.

15.41 - The qualifier fails to serve out the set as the World No. 25 breaks back.

Kuznetsova now serving to stay in the set down 4-5 and avoid going the distance.

15.33 - Hradecka is on fire. She rifles off winners from the back of the court as she breaks the Russian to lead 5-2.

Could we have a three-set match on our hands?

15.26 - Kiwi alert!

And no I'm not referring to Marina Erakovic, I'm talking about the doubles pairing of Katherine Westbury and Rosie Cheng who have been handed a wild card into the draw.

It's not the best news however, as the pair are already down 0-4 against the Croatian/American pairing of Petra Martic and Anna Tatishvili.

Meanwhile, on Centre Court Hradecka is making a stronger fist of it in the second set where she's up 3-2 on serve over Kuznetsova.  

15.19 - Vesnina, a former runner-up at the ASB Classic, has taken an extremely tight first set over on the Grandstand court 7-5 in a tiebreaker against Mladenovic in an hour.

15.11 - The Czech qualifier fends off several deuces to hold serve at the beginning of the second set.

Hradecka is also a silver medalist from the London 2012 Olympics where she teamed up with fellow Czech Andrea Hlavackova to reach the final, which they lost to the Williams sisters.

Hlavackova and Hradecka are joining forces in Auckland in the doubles tournament, where they are the second seeds behind the Wold No. 1 Italian pairing of Sara Errani and Roberta Vinci.

15.01 - Kuznetsova steadies to take the first set 6-3 over Hradecka.

American Coco Vandeweghe, an early winner on Day Two over Italy's Roberta Vinci.

14.55 - The Czech qualifier holds on to her serve to move to 3-5.

The No. 5 seed will now attempt to serve for the first set.

Meanwhile on the outside courts, fellow Russian Elena Vesnina is locked in a close battle with France's Kristina Mladenovic.

The Russian is serving to stay in the first set at 4-5.

14.43 - Hradecka finds her groove to hold serve but the Russian is still ahead a break 4-2.

14.29 - Kuznetsova, the No. 5 seed, makes a strong start against the qualifier and moves ahead 3-0.

The 29-year-old former World No. 2 is a past champion at Roland Garros in 2009 and the US Open in 2004 and comes into the year ranked 25.

Hradecka, who won three qualifying matches to get into the main draw, is ranked 153 in singles but is a highly-accomplished doubles player, winning the US Open and French Open doubles crowns.

Svetlana Kuznetsova looks on at a child hitting ahead of her match at the ASB Classic.

13.59 - Urszula upsets Schiavone

The qualifier stuns the former French Open champ, clinching victory after another long rally that had the crowd on the edge of their seats.

Radwanska seals victory 6-4, 7-5 in a tight two-setter over the higher-ranked Italian.

The Pole goes on to play Daniela Hantuchova who upset another Italian Sara Errani yesterday.

Next up on Centre Court we have two-time grand slam winner Svetlana Kuznetzova up against Czech qualifer Lucie Hradecka.

The bad tournament continues for Italy with another player dropping out in the first round.

Roberta Vinci has gone down in three sets on the Grandstand court to the USA's Coco Vandeweghe.

The American's are having a great run at the ASB Classic this year with four players now reaching the second round.

13.54 - The Pole bounces back to break Schiavone again and will have a third attempt at serving for the match at 6-5 in the second set.

Will it be third time lucky for the qualifier?

13.45 - Radwanska reaches match point but can't convert as Schiavone digs in and fights for every ball.

The Italian is rewarded with a break of serve and she levels at 5-5, much to the delight of the full house of spectators who are enjoying this entertaining tussle.

13.39 - The 34-year-old continues her plucky display to fend off Radwanska and hold for 4-5.

The qualifier will return to attempt to serve out the match for a second time against Schiavone.

13.29 - Schiavone won't give up and is making a valiant comeback in the second set.

Just as she did in the first, the Italian breaks Radwanska's serve as she leads 5-2.

Will the Italian's revival continue? 

13.18 - The former Roland Garros winner hits a forehand that appears wide, but is called in by the chair umpire, much to the dismay of Radwanska.

Schiavone holds serve to get on the board but she still trails 1-4 in the second set.

Meanwhile we have our first winner of the day on Court Two. Things were tighter in the second set but Georges holds firm to reach the second round with a 6-1, 6-4 win over Tatishvili.

The German, ranked 40th in the world, is a classy player who has reached the top 20. She next faces the winner of the following match on Centre Court between Russia's Svetlana Kuznetsova and qualifer Lucie Hradecka.

13.11 - It's deja vu on Centre Court as the Pole breaks Schiavone not once, but twice to open the second set as she strides out the a 3-0 lead.

Can the plucky Italian claw her way back into the match again?

12.58 - Third time lucky for Radwanska.

The qualifier hangs tough and clinches the first set 6-4.

Can the crafty Italian bounce back in the second set?

There's tennis matches aplenty on the outside courts as well, with a packed schedule on Day Two.

Over on Grandstand, fellow Italian Roberta Vinci has taken the first set 7-5 over young American talent Coco Vandeweghe.

The unseeded Vinci was the top seed last year but exited in the first round.

Meanwhile on Court Two, Germany's Julia Georges has victory in sights as she races to a 6-1, 5-1 lead over the USA's Anna Tatishvili.

We'll keep you updated on how theose matches pan out.

12.53 - Radwanska begins to falters as Schiavone ups her game. She scores another break and holds serve to claw the score back to 4-5.

Can the Pole finally serve out the first set on her third opportunity?

12.44 - The Italian finally gets on the board as she breaks the Pole as she serves for the set.

Schiavone slowly begins to dictate some of the rallies as she holds serve for the first time to trail 2-5.

12.36 - More errors from Schiavone and the younger Radwanska sister storms ahead to a 5-0 lead in quick fashion.

The 24-year-old is a year younger than her more well-known sister Agnieszka, who's currently ranked No. 5 in the world.

12.28 - Radwanska may be over 100 places below her opponent at 179 in the rankings, but she's playing the better tennis so far, keeping her errors low as Schiavone sprays the ball long.

She scores another break to take a 3-0 lead in front of an almost packed crowd on Centre Court.

12.21Schiavone, who became the first Italian to win a grand slam when she triumphed at the 2010 French Open, comes into the year with a ranking of 78.

The 34-year-old veteran has been as high as No. 4 in the rankings.

Radwanska, who had to win three rounds of qualifying to reach the main draw, starts out strong to break the Italian in the first game.

12.00 - The sun is shining and it's set to be a scorching day on the court as well as the big names make their highly-anticipated debut on Day Two at the ASB Classic.

Superstars Venus Williams and Caroline Wozniacki will be in action later in the day but first up we have former grand slam champion Francesca Schiavone of Italy up against Poland's Urszula Radwanska.

Radwanska is not be mistaken with her more well-known sister, Agniezska, who won this tournament in 2013.

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