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First day of ASB Classic rained out

AAP logoAAP 2/01/2017 Angelo Risso

Rain has ruined the opening day of the ASB Classic, with superstar Serena Williams forced to wait for her first outing on an Auckland court.

Only five matches were completed before before the afternoon wet took hold, with the clash between Japanese young gun Naomi Osaka and Annika Beck halted in the second set at 6-2 2-1.

Of those five matches, only two were from the Classic main draw.

Williams was left waiting as was Kiwi tennis player Marina Erakovic who was scheduled to join doubles partner Laura Robson in their first-round clash with Alicja Rosolska and Taylor Townsend.

"I'm as disappointed as everyone else," director Karl Budge said.

Of the completed main draw matches, former French Open finalist Lucie Safarova's victory over Czech compatriot Denisa Allertova was the most notable.

The 29-year-old Safarova cruised past her opponent 6-1 6-2, breaking her first three service games and dominating the match.

She's now likely to face another Czech in the second round, fourth-seeded veteran and Classic doubles partner Barbora Strycova.

"I'm really happy that I could perform so well today," Safarova said.

In the other match, 25-year-old Japanese player Kurumi Nara also made light work of her opponent, German wildcard Antonia Lottner, winning 6-2 6-2.

Nara will face American Lauren Davis or fifth-seeded Dutch player Kiki Bertens in the next round.

The other three matches, all qualifiers, saw American Jamie Loeb, Czech Barbora Stefkova and German Mona Barthel emerge triumphant and join the main draw.

One player who wasn't concerned by the rain was Danish star Caroline Wozniacki, who wasn't scheduled for a first round match Monday.

The 26-year-old told reporters she was banking on the Auckland tournament to help her shake out the cobwebs for a 2017 grand slam tilt.

Wozniacki endured a miserable 2016 campaign, exiting in the first round of the Australian Open and Wimbledon, but hit form with a semi-final showing at Flushing Meadows.

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