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· Team WTAworld, Administrator, aka Nibbler
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AUCKLAND, New Zealand (AP) -- Anna Kournikova won her first match, and two Spanish seeds were knocked out of the ASB Bank Classic women's tennis tournament Tuesday.

Kournikova proved she was the star attraction at the tournament during her 7-6 (6), 6-2 win over Zimbabwe's Cara Black.

Elsewhere, Kristina Brandi of the United States beat fourth-seeded Conchita Martinez 7-6 (5), 6-3, and Alina Jidkova of Russia beat top seed Angeles Montolio 6-3, 6-1.

Defending champion and sixth seed Meilen Tu of the United States also lost, 6-3, 6-2 to unseeded Selima Sfar of Tunisia.

The demise of both Martinez and Montolio might work to Kournikova's advantage, who has had her half of the draw cleared somewhat with the Spanish exits.

Martinez, 29, was playing her first tournament since Wimbledon last year after struggling with an Achilles' tendon injury.

``Obviously, it's going to take a long time to get matches in and get some confidence back,'' Martinez said.

Before a soldout crowd, Kournikova won the opening game, but then struggled for the next three games to hand Black a 4-1 advantage. But the Russian fought back, aided by some accurate serving.

Once Kournikova leveled the set at 6-6, she overcame some unforced errors to take the tiebreaker.

Black's serve fell apart in the second set, and Kournikova coasted to a comfortable win.

``I tried to play more consistent,'' Kournikova said. ``It was really important for me to win that tiebreaker. Once I won that first set, I was kind of more relaxed and was hitting the ball more and playing more aggressive.''

Kournikova plays seventh seed Amy Frazier of the United States in her second-round match on Wednesday.

Sfar provided the first upset of the day in her win over Tu.

Sfar, ranked 82nd in the world and unseeded at Auckland, is the best tennis player her country has produced. But she said she had to leave Tunisia when she was 13 because she had no one to play against.

``There were no players, either boys or girls at all, so I used to play a lot against the wall,'' she said.
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