Marina Erakovic. Photo by Getty
New Zealand tennis No 1 Marina Erakovic survived another
test of endurance today before advancing to the final stage of
qualifying at the US$690,000 Sydney WTA event.
Erakovic faced her second epic encounter in as many days,
defeating Hungarian Greta Arn 7-5 4-6 6-4 in 2 hours 45
minutes in their second round qualifying match.
The previous day Erakovic, who earlier this week lost in the
second round of the ASB Classic, beat Frenchwoman Caroline
Garcia 5-7 6-4 6-4 in nearly two-and-a-half hours.
Erakovic is in the main draw of doubles at the Sydney
tournament, partnering Russian Ekaterina Makarova.
Meanwhile, New Zealand Davis Cup players Rubin Statham and
Artem Sitak have had some success in the US$75,000 Challenger
in New Caledonia.
The Kiwi pair excelled in the doubles, making it through to
the final by beating highly ranked teams all the way. In the
semifinals they accounted for top seeds Lukas Dlouhy (Czech
Republic) and Jordan Kerr (Australia), winning the super
In the final they came up against Australia's Sam Groth and
Japan's Toshihide Matsui but were beaten 7-6 1-6 10-4.
Statham and Sitak have been rewarded with a wildcard in the
main draw of the next week's Heineken Open doubles, where
they will play Johan Brunstrom (Sweden) and Wimbledon
champion Frederik Nielsen (Denmark).
In the singles in Noumea, Statham defeated Slovakia's Ivo
Klec in the first round but eventually went down to former
top 50 player Adrian Mannarino of France 7-5 6-2 in the
Sitak had an easy victory in the first round over Italy's
Riccardo Ghedin before being beaten by fourth seed Jonathan
Dasnieres De Veigy of France 6-2 1-6 7-6.