Big three in action at ASB Classic

Ana Ivanovic will face an opponent she’s familiar with but one she hasn’t played against when she opens her singles campaign at the ASB Classic.

The second seed from Serbia and 2014 champion will be up against British qualifier Naomi Broady in a Tuesday schedule that features three former world No.1s.

Ivanovic, now at No.16, is among those who have reached the top rung of the rankings.

She and the 122-ranked Broady practise at the same club in Britain and she sees a touch of irony in the fact that will be meeting in Auckland.

“She has a big serve and one-handed backhand and it’s going to be a tough match,” Ivanovic said.

“She has already had three matches under her belt. It was good for me to get doubles [on Monday].”

Ivanovic got her week under way when she and Belgian partner Kirsten Flipkens upset Czech top seeds Andrea Hlavackova and Lucie Hradecka 4-6 6-4 10-3 in a first-round doubles match.

The two other former No.1s in the singles field are top-seeded American Venus Williams and No.3 seed Caroline Wozniacki of Denmark.

The two will also be up against opponents they haven’t faced before.

Williams, the defending champion and world No.7, will meet Russian Daria Kasatkina, while world No.17 Wozniacki has drawn Montenegro’s Danka Kovinic.

Hometown favourite Marina Erakovic will be in action in the last night match on centre court.

Erakovic, who is on the comeback from a knee injury that forced her retirement from the opening round of the US Open four months ago, will face Kazakhstan’s Yulia Putintseva.

The 27-year-old Aucklander, a wildcard, has a ranking of 135 to Putintseva’s 77.

Erakovic lost the pair’s one previous encounter, in the first round of Wimbledon last year.

“She’s a solid ball striker, moves really well, gets a lot of balls back,” she said of her 20-year-old opponent.

“I’ll play my game, try to dominate with my forehand, try to dictate the points and just be patient.”

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