Lewis out of ASB Classic

Jade Lewis serves during her ASB Classic loss last night. Photo: Getty Images
Jade Lewis serves during her ASB Classic loss last night. Photo: Getty Images
Kiwi wildcard Jade Lewis has been knocked out of the ASB Classic.

The 19-year-old had her moments, but couldn't match the consistency of Slovakian qualifier Viktoria Kuzmova, going down 6-4, 6-3 in 70 minutes on centre court.

Kuzmova, ranked 138th in the world to Lewis' 1051st, was powerful and steady in equal measure, and profited when attacking Lewis' second serve.

Lewis won just six points on her second serve, at a success rate of just 32% – a far cry from her impressive first serve, of which she claimed 72% of points on.

The only New Zealander in the main draw, Lewis had chances early on, including two break points to take a 2-0 lead. However, she couldn't convert, while unforced errors while on serve let Kuzmova take a pivotal break.

Lewis was left ruing her missed opportunities.

"I think I played decent, I don't think it was my best – I definitely had some opportunities.

"I was serving pretty well so that's good confidence for me, but I think as long as I broke just one time I definitely would have changed that match around."

Lewis faced a similar situation last year, pushing Venus Williams before succumbing 7-6, 6-2, and while she earned break points against Kuzmova, and hit some splendid aces, she couldn't nail the vital points, allowing Kuzmova to claim the opening set.

The match continued in that fashion in the second set, with Kuzmova immediately breaking her serve twice in succession, pouncing on the second serve to put Lewis on the back foot.

By then, the result was set in stone, though Lewis did produce some impressive winners to earn one break back. However, it was too late, with Kuzmova booking another appearance on centre court tomorrow night against second seed Julia Goerges.

Lewis believes that Kuzmova was not significantly better than her usual opponents, crediting her serve but analysing a "shaky" forehand.

While disappointed with her performance, she took positvies from the fact she was competitive despite not being at her best.

"Level-wise there's not much difference out there – I'm going to take this match and bring it into the next tournaments I have."

Those tournaments include three $15,000 ITF events in Egypt, before Lewis links up with the New Zealand Fed Cup team.

First though, she will have a second opportunity to play in front of her home crowd, teaming up with Taiwan's Shu-Ying Hsieh in the doubles tomorrow, against second seeds Nao Hibino and Darija Jurak.

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