Sania Mirza made a winning start to the new season, getting the better of Swiss Stefanie Voegele in a first round encounter of the ASB Classic WTA tournament in Auckland on Tuesday.
The 57th ranked Indian came from behind to beat her opponent 5-7 6-1 7-5. She has paired up with Spaniard Virginia Ruano Pascual for the doubles competition here, where they are seeded second. They will open against wild card entrants Dominika Cibulkova of Slovakia and Yanina Wickmayer of Belgium.
Shahar Peer shrugged off a protest at her presence and a security scare that forced the evacuation of the venue to advance to the second round of the Auckland Classic. A group of people carrying placards and chanting against Israel's treatment of Palestinians mingled outside the Auckland Tennis Centre before Peer played her match against Slovenia's Polona Hercog.
Before play, however, an unattended bag by a spectator provoked a full-blown security scare forcing the evacuation of the venue before police and security staff discovered there was no threat. Police later said there was no link between the protest and the security scare.
Peer advanced with a 7-5, 6-3 win over Hercog and said while she had seen the protest, she would not be dissuaded.