Auckland, New Zealand – World No. 4 Agnieszka Radwanska of Poland swept past former champion Greta Arn 6-2, 6-2 on Tuesday to reach the second round of the ASB Classic.
The 23-year-old Radwanska took just over 70 minutes to overcome Arn, the 2011 champion now ranked 114, who entered the main draw as a lucky loser after being beaten in the last round of qualifying.
Radwanska controlled the match from the baseline, with occasional forays to the net, unsettling Arn with her strong forehand and off-balance backhand.
Arn was the second former champion to lose in the first round after 2012 champ Zheng Jie of China was beaten in straight sets on Monday.
At 1.72 meters (5'6”) and 56kg (123 pounds), Radwanska is one of the smaller players on the tour but she compensates with a game of touch and variety.
“This is my style,” Radwanska said. “To be honest, I don't really work on that, I was just born to play like that.
“With my body, I can't serve 200kmh so I have to mix up everything and try to do something else, not just powerful shots.
“I really felt good on court but there were a lot of tight, long games. The score looks easy but the match was not that easy. I had to fight for every ball to the end of the match.”
Second-seeded Julia Goerges of Germany beat Latvian qualifier Anastasija Sevastova 6-3, 6-4 in the last match of the first round. Goerges took the first set in just over 30 minutes but had to fight hard to take the second with a single service break.
Earlier, sixth-seeded Yaroslava Shvedova of Kazakhstan beat Lara Arruabarrena-Vecino of Spain 6-3, 6-2. The powerful Shvedova served six aces and had five double faults in a mixed serving performance but still overcame her Spanish opponent in 71 minutes.
Fifth-seeded Sorana Cirstea of Romania became the third seed to exit the tournament, after seventh-seeded Christina McHale and fourth-seeded Jie, when she retired in the second set of her match against Britain's Heather Watson.
Cirstea received medical attention after Watson took the first set 6-3, then was forced to retire because of a viral illness.
“It was unfortunate today for Sorana,” Watson said. “She told me she's had a virus for the past week, which sucks, coming all of this way and not feeling well.
“But I was really excited to get out there today and play my first singles match. I served very well. Around the baseline I was a bit slow and wasn't able to keep too many balls in play, but I'm looking forward to my next match now.”
Eighth-seeded Mona Barthel of Germany, beat American qualifier Grace Min 6-1, 6-3 and unseeded New Zealander Marina Erakovic beat Stephanie Dubois of Canada 6-2 6-1. – Sapa-AP