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Friday, January 6, 2012

Sports News: Baltacha progresses in Auckland

Elena Baltacha began 2012 in positive fashion with a 6-2 4-6 6-3 win over New Zealand's Sacha Jones in the first round of the ASB Classic in Auckland.

The British number one battled tough conditions to overcome the 21-year-old wildcard and set up a second-round tie with fourth seed Flavia Pennetta, who defeated Romania's Sorana Cirstea 6-4 7-6 (7/5).

She said: "First matches are always tricky, especially when you haven't played a match in a long while, so it's a good one to get through. It was very windy out there and she had a lot of support so I'm pleased to get the win and get a good start to 2012."

She added: "Pennetta will be tough but I always enjoy matches against the top players. We had a good match in Indian Wells last year when I played really well against her so that will give me a lot of confidence going in."

Anne Keothavong failed to make it through to the main draw as she lost in the final qualifying round, 6-1 6-4 against Jamie Hampton of the United States.

Italy's Sara Errani, also made it through to the second round with a comprehensive 6-1 6-1 win over Sweden's Johanna Larsson, while there were also victories for Christina McHale of the United States and the Czech Republic's Lucie Hradecka.

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