TENNIS: Former world top-10 Lucie Safarova has cruised through her opening encounter at the ASB Classic in Auckland, the first player to progress to the tournament's second round.
The left-handed Czech, currently ranked 62nd, needed little more than an hour to dispatch countrywoman Denisa Allertova 6-1 6-2.
Her cause was greatly assisted by seven clean aces and her opponent coughing up nine double faults, the last of which gifted Safarova the victory.
She now awaits a possible second-round match-up with another Czech, fourth-seeded Barbora Strycova on Wednesday.
Soon after the Safarova-Allertova match, rain fell, forcing a delay in further play.
Earlier today, on outside courts at the ASB Tennis Centre, American Jamie Loeb and Czech Barbora Stefkova sealed qualifying spots into the event's main draw.
Loeb defeated fellow American Taylor Townsend 7-6 6-1, while Stefkova accounted for yet another Czech, Tereza Martincova, 6-1 6-3.
The star of the tournament, American top seed Serena Williams, was due to take on Pauline Parmentier of France last night, followed by eighth-seeded Croatian Ana Konjuh against Belgian Kirsten Flipkens.
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