Auckland: Second seed Sara Errani crashed out of the opening round of the Auckland Classic WTA tournament Monday, beaten in straight sets by Slovakian Daniela Hantuchova.
It took Hantuchova just 75 minutes to take the match 6-3, 6-2 as the Italian world number 14 Errani continued to be hampered by the rib injury that affected her at the end of last season.
The 31-year-old Hantuchova produced her power game firing down an ace with her first serve and followed with soft touches to break Errani for the first time in the fourth game.
Errani rallied at the start of the second set to break Hantuchova to take a 2-0 lead before losing the next six games as she failed to find an answer to the Slovakian`s broad shot selection.
Eighth seed Mona Barthel also fell by the wayside, with the German easily overrun 6-2, 6-1 by wildcard Ana Konjuh of Croatia while sixth seed Sloane Stephens and fourth seed Barbora Zahlavova Strycova survived to the second round.
Strycova was taken to three sets by South African Chanelle Scheepers before winning 6-1, 3-6, 6-2 while Stephens was untroubled beating Silvia Soler-Espinosa from Spain 6-3 6-1.