Agnieszka Radwanska survives 1st-round battle in Shenzhen; rain ruins day one of Auckland Classic

Beijing: Top seed and defending champion Agnieszka Radwanska of Poland scraped a hard-fought 6-2, 6-7(4), 7-5 victory against lower-ranked Ying-Ying Duan at the WTA Shenzhen Open on Monday to advance to the second round.

Radwanska, ranked third in the world, took nearly two and a half hours to overcome a stiff challenge from her 103rd-ranked Chinese opponent, winning fewer of her first service points but slamming down seven aces to Duan's four.

Agnieszka Radwanska in action at the Shenzhen Open. Image courtesy: WTA website.

Agnieszka Radwanska in action at the Shenzhen Open. Image courtesy: WTA website.

The Pole saved three match points in the third set on her way to claiming victory.

Second seed Simona Halep of Romania triumphed in a three-set thriller 6-1, 3-6, 6-3 over Jelena Jankovic of Serbia, formerly the world's top-ranked female player.

Halep bounced back after a second-set loss to win a place in the second round against Katerina Siniakova, who defeated hometown favourite Shuai Peng 6-3, 7-5.

Third seed Johanna Konta of Britain made a strong start to the tournament with a dominant 6-2, 6-0 performance over Caga Buyukakcay, taking less than an hour to defeat her Turkish opponent.

Konta enters 2017 as a top ten player for the first time in her career. She will face 27-year-old American veteran Vania King.

Fourth seed Timea Bacsinszky of Switzerland pulled out of the tournament on Monday due to an abdominal injury.

Serena Williams debut postponed

Auckland: Rain disrupted the first day of the WTA Auckland Classic Monday with only two matches completed, delaying the start of top-seed Serena Williams's campaign.

Williams was forced to wait until 9:20pm, nearly three hours past her scheduled start time, before her first-round match against Pauline Parmentier of France and other night matches were postponed because of persistent rain.

"The weather has not been kind to us and unfortunately we have to abandon the session tonight," tournament director Carl Budge told the handful of hardy spectators who braved the weather.

Former world top-10 Lucie Safarova cruised through her first match against fellow Czech Denisa Allertova 6-1, 6-2, thanks to her markedly superior serve.

Safarova fired down seven aces while Allertova served up nine double faults.

In the second completed match, Japan's Kurumi Nara comfortably beat Antonia Lottner of Germany 6-2, 6-2. Fifth seed Kiki Bertens of the Netherlands was 5-3 up on American Lauren Davis in their first set when rain halted play.

Published Date: Jan 02, 2017 19:07 PM | Updated Date: Jan 02, 2017 19:08 PM

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