Errani falls; Stephens advances in Auckland

Auckland, New Zealand ( – Former French Open runner-up Sara
Errani was sent packing, while sixth-seeded American Sloane Stephens reached
the second round at the 2015 season-opening ASB Classic tennis event.

Former top-10 Slovakian Daniela Hantuchova drubbed the second-seeded Italian
Errani 6-3, 6-2, while the sixth-seeded American Stephens stifled Spaniard
Silvia Soler-Espinosa 6-3, 6-1 on the hardcourts at ASB Tennis Centre.

In other action involving seeds, No. 4 Czech Barbora Zahlavova Strycova
held off South African Chanelle Scheepers 6-1, 3-6, 6-2 and Croat Ana Konjuh
upended No. 8 German Mona Barthel 6-2, 6-1.

Also on opening day, Japan’s Kurumi Nara doused Dutchwoman Kiki Bertens 6-3,
6-2, Lauren Davis overcame fellow American Shelby Rogers 1-6, 6-4, 6-3 and
American wild card Taylor Townsend got past Belgian 2010 Auckland champion and
two-time runner-up Yanina Wickmayer 7-5, 3-6, 6-0. Davis will meet another
compatriot in Stephens in the round of 16.

On Tuesday, top-seeded former world No. 1 and 2014 U.S. Open runner-up
Caroline Wozniacki will take on Israeli qualifier Julia Glushko and third-
seeded former top-ranked star Venus Williams will battle Slovak Jana Cepelova.

Ana Ivanovic, who is not defending her title this week, topped Williams in
last year’s final in Auckland, which serves as a tune-up for the
Australian Open, which begins January 19 in Melbourne.