Elena Baltacha records victory at ASB Classic in Auckland

Elena Baltacha
Baltacha had the best year of her career in 2011

British number one Elena Baltacha beat 21-year-old wildcard Sacha Jones of New Zealand 6-2 4-6 6-3 in the first round of the ASB Classic in Auckland.

The Scot secured a second-round tie with fourth seed Flavia Pennetta.

Baltacha said: "It was very windy and she had a lot of support so I'm pleased to win and get a good start to 2012."

Anne Keothavong failed to make it through to the main draw, losing in the final qualifying round 6-1 6-4 against Jamie Hampton of the United States.

Baltacha, ranked 51 in the world, is scheduled to play in Hobart next week before taking her place in the main draw of the Australian Open, which starts on 16 January.

"Pennetta will be tough but I always enjoy matches against the top players," she added. "We had a good match in Indian Wells last year when I played really well against her so that will give me a lot of confidence going in."

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