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Rain ruins second evening of Classic

NZ Newswire logoNZ Newswire 3/01/2017 Angelo Risso

Rain has killed off a second consecutive evening of ASB Classic action, postponing Venus Williams' clash with Kiwi teen Jade Lewis.

The seven-time grand slam winner and 18-year-old Lewis were locked at 2-2 in the first set of their evening clash in Auckland before the heavens opened.

Play was halted called off at 9:30pm local time.

The centre-court match was one of four singles matches to be affected, with Croatian eighth-seed Ana Konjuh one set up against Belgian Kirsten Flipkens.

Last year's runner-up Julia Goerges never made it to the court against Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova, nor did British gun Naomi Broady and opponent Danka Kovinic.

All four singles games will be played Wednesday afternoon, weather permitting.

"We all live in Auckland and know what it's like," Classic director Karl Budge said.

"We've got to go through the scenario and we're not immune to it, just like any other outdoor tennis tournament."

In the games that were played, superstar Serena Williams put an inauspicious opening game behind her to win her first-round Classic match against Pauline Parmentier 6-3 6-4.

In a match that was postponed due to Monday night's rain, Serena underwhelmed in front of an adoring Auckland crowd but was nevertheless too classy for her French foe.

A calamitous first game, in which the 35-year-old was broken certainly raised an eyebrow or two.

"You always feel rusty going out there in your first match and I definitely felt that rust, but I felt that mentally I knew how to get it back," Serena said.

Kiwi Marina Erakovic was soundly beaten by Latvian teen Jelena Ostapenko 6-1 6-2.

It's the first time in three years that the 105th-ranked Erakovic, an Aucklander, has failed to qualify for the Classic second round.

"It sucks that it happened here because obviously I'd like to do well at home, but you can never control that," Erakovic said.

Elsewhere, Danish tennis star Caroline Wozniacki cruised past American opponent and close friend Nicole Gibbs 6-1 6-0 in less than an hour.

Japanese teen Naomi Osaka finished off German Annika Beck 6-2 6-4 while fourth-seed Barbora Strycova beat compatriot Barbora Stefkova 6-4 6-3.

Fifth-seeded Kiki Bertens was upset by American Lauren Davis 7-6 (7-3) 6-4 while Davis' compatriot Madison Brengle set up a clash with Serena after defeating Jamie Loeb.

Mirjana Lucic-Baroni also trumped Mona Barthel in three, 2010 Classic winner Yanina Wickmayer defeated Johanna Larsson and Varvara Lepchenko beat Arina Rodionova.

The washout makes Wednesday's fixture list particularly crammed, with Venus and Konjuh likely to play twice on the same day.

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