By Ros Satar
- Naomi Broady stuns second seed Ana Ivanovic in straight sets 7-5 6-4
- Qualifier Broady faces wildcard Jelena Ostapenko for a place in the quarter-final
- Bad day for the tournament as defending champion Venus Williams also crashes out
AUCKLAND, NZ – British No. 3 Naomi Broady stunned second seed Ana Ivanovic in straight sets to advance to the second round in the #ASB Classic in Auckland.
Broady went on the offensive from the start, breaking the Serbian in her first service game, although she lost her serve straight back. She had to show similar resolve after Ivanovic broke for a 5-4 lead, fighting back as the Serb served for the first set. Having started the match with a confident hold to love, she matched it to put herself in the driving seat, breaking Ivanovic to take a one-set lead.
The second set was a far more competitive affair, with both fielding breaking point chances in the early games before settling down to a far more cat and mouse affair.
It was at the business end that Broady pounced, finally converting on her third match point to score a major scalp and to set herself up with a real chance of advancing to a tour level quarter-final to kick off 2016.
Waiting for her will be Latvian wildcard Jelena Ostapenko, ranked 84 in the world. As much as 2015 was quite a landmark year for Broady, moving up from just inside the top 170 to a career best in October of 116, she will remember her last meeting with the Latvian teenager only too well.
While her confidence rose during a good set of runs at the end of the season, she lost on carpet to Ostapenko in the semi-finals of Quebec City. With a decent serve and an aggressive return game, she has the capability of up-ending the Latvian to push herself closer to the Top 100, and must not allow Ostapenko frustrate her into errors.
The Latvian is an aggressive baseliner, but is more than happy to wait it out before closing in, and this could be a close one if Broady can settle after perhaps her biggest career scalp to date.
Auckland seeds scattered at the top of the draw too as Venus Williams played the kind of error-strewn game that often sends her fans diving for cover as Russian teenager Daria Kasatkina battened down the hatches after dropping the first set tie-break to stun the defending champion.
Coming in on a wildcard, she stayed steady as the Williams helped her ably along with a shocking 73 unforced errors to exit.
Broady and Ostapenko are scheduled on Centre Court, not before 1:45pm (12:45am GMT).
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