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Auckland Classic: Wozniacki, Venus make comfortable starts

January 06, 2015 15:59 IST

Caroline Wozniacki of Denmark serves

Caroline Wozniacki of Denmark serves. Photograph: Hannah Peters/Getty Images

Top seed Caroline Wozniacki and former World No 1 Venus Williams ensured Auckland Classic organisers' dream final remained on track with the duo both recording comfortable victories in their first round matches on Tuesday.

There were no upsets for Wozniacki and Williams, however, as the Dane dispatched Israeli qualifier Julia Glushko 6-3, 6-2 while third seed Williams was imperious in her 6-1, 6-0 demolition of Slovakia's Jana Cepelova.

Wozniacki was not as convincing as Williams but the 68-minute match undoubtedly shook out any cobwebs and set up a second round clash with American teenager Taylor Townsend, who beat 2010 Auckland champion Yanina Wickmayer on Monday.

"It maybe wasn't the prettiest match, but I got through it and I won it," Wozniacki said.

"It's always tough the first match of the season, you just want to get going and into the groove. But I'm happy to be through and getting another chance to play out there."

‘I was playing in real time and not fast forward’

Venus Williams of USA

Venus Williams of USA misses a shot during her match against Jana Cepelova of Slovakia. Photograph: Fiona Goodall/Getty Images

"Usually when you win easily everything is going right, Williams told reporters of her 52-minute match in which she broke Cepelova five times. "I would like to play as many matches as possible and thankfully I felt pretty comfortable on the court so that's a plus.

"I was happy with my serve. I felt comfortable at the net and I was pretty calm.

"Sometimes your mind can be going a thousand miles an hour, especially when it's the first match of the season, so for the most part I felt like I was playing in real time and not fast forward."

Kuznetsova, Schiavone bundled out

Svetlana Kuznetsova

Svetlana Kuznetsova of Russia reacts . Photograph: Hannah Peters/Getty Images

Two Grand Slam champions, however, were packing their bags on Tuesday and heading across the Tasman Sea to continue their Australian Open preparations with Svetlana Kuznetsova and Francesca Schiavone bundled out in the first round.

Fifth seeded Kuznetsova, a US Open and French Open champion, was beaten by Lucie Hradecka 3-6, 7-6 (6), 6-4 in a marathon two hour, 25 minute match on centre court while 2010 French Open champion Schiavone was beaten 6-4, 7-5 by Urszula Radwanska.

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