Erakovic, Black upset in first round of doubles

DAVID LONG
Last updated 00:21 31/12/2013
Marina Erakovic
PETER MEECHAM/Fairfax NZ
NZ'S BEST: Marina Erakovic in action.

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New Zealander Abigail Guthrie and her Auckland born partner Sacha Jones caused a massive upset in the first round of doubles at the ASB Classic last night.

The two players dumped out the second seeds Marina Erakovic and Cara Black 3-6 6-4 13-11.

Cara Black is regarded as one of the world's greatest ever doubles players, while Erakovic has won seven doubles titles in her career, but together they couldn't overcome Guthrie and Jones in a match that finished close to 11.30pm.

Jones is playing her last ever tournament, before retiring and going to university. She has always been more of a singles player than someone who focuses on doubles too and her doubles ranking of 591 reflects that. 

Guthrie however, is someone who's looking to make strides in doubles and has a doubles ranking of 321, compared to a singles ranking of 1242.

On paper this should have been a one-sided blowout, but from their fourth match point in the super tiebreak they were able to win the vital point and advance to the second round and importantly for Guthrie this result should shoot her up to around 260 in the rankings.

"We went out there with no expectations, just to go for it and have fun and it seemed to work," Guthrie said.

"We said on the match points that we were going to go for it and that's what we did.

"This win is going to give me a huge boost in the rankings and hopefully we can keep going and get more points."

In the second round Guthrie and Jones will play the winner of the match between Tamira Paszek and Coco Vandeweghe and the Pliskova twins, Karolina and Kristyna.

Again, the Guthrie and Jones combination will be the underdogs but Guthrie said they won't be lacking in confidence.

"We've just beat the second seeds and if we can beat them we can beat anyone," Guthrie said.

Erakovic has always liked to do well in doubles as well as singles and she has made the doubles final at the Classic in the past.

But last night she said her and Black got beaten by a combination that played well.

"It is the first time out there this year and I thought we were a bit up and down," Erakovic said.

"We sort of got them by the tail in the second, let up a bit and then they started playing better and hitting out more.

"We became more careful and it got tight from there. You can't really get like that because it's going to make it a lot more difficult, but congrats to the girls, they played solid, they swung out and went for their shots."

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Erakovic will return to centre court today and plays American Lauren Davis in the third match.

- Fairfax Media

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