Top seed Stosur hurdles first-round foe at Japan Open
Osaka, Japan (4E Sports) – Top seed Samantha Stosur of Australia bounced back strong from an early exit in Beijing, cruising past Erika Sema of Japan in straight sets, 6-4, 6-2, Sunday in the first round of the HP Japan Women’s Open.
Stosur, who has yet to win a tournament after capturing the US Open title last year, hammered five aces to beat Sema and advance to the second round of the event she won in 2009.
“I thought I played quite well,” Stosur said. “She came out playing very well too – she was hitting the ball well, hitting it hard, and playing really aggressively – she was trying to play her best. But I did everything I had to, and as the match went on I thought my serve got better, I got more aggressive and just got better.”
Last week in Beijing, Stosur was among four players battling it out for the eighth and last spot in the WTA Championships but she was defeated by Julia Goerges in the second round.
“It was very disappointing in Beijing when I lost, because then I knew pretty much had no chance to qualify. So now I’m using other things to motivate me for the rest of the year,” Stosur said. “The motivation is to try to improve and work on things. Of course I want to win all of these matches, but there’s nothing major riding on it.”
The only other seed in action, No.3 seed Christina McHale, headed to the exit after losing to Chang Kai-Chen, 6-3, 7-6 (5).
Other winners were American Jamie Hampton, Australian Casey Dellacqua, Japan native Misaki Doi, Britain’s Heather Watson and Frenchwoman Pauline Parmentier.
Hampton knocked off crowd favorite Ayumi Morita, 6-3, 6-2, while Dellacqua eliminated veteran Kimiko Date-Krumm, 6-3, 3-6, 6-4.
Doi defeated American Julia Cohen, 7-5, 3-6, 6-0, Watson toppled Slovenia’s Polona Hercog, 6-4, 6-4, and Parmentier dumped compatriot Mathilde Johansson, 6-2, 6-2.
At the Generali Ladies in Linz, Austria, Sofia Arvidsson defeated fourth seed Lucie Safarova, 3-6, 6-2, 7-5, in the opening round.
Arvidsson will next face Lucie Hradecka, who defeated Silvia Soler-Espinosa of Spain 6-3, 7-6 (5).
Kiki Bertens also advanced to the second round after beating Mona Barthel of Germany 7-6 (3), 1-6, 6-1.
At the Shanghai Rolex Masters, former World No. 2 Tommy Haas overcame 18 aces from Nicolas Almagro en route to a 4-6, 7-6(4), 6-2 first-round win.
Haas will next face 30-year-old Tommy Robredo, who defeated Russian qualifier Alex Bogomolov Jr., 7-6(4), 6-4 in just over two hours.
Ukrainian Alexander Dolgopolov hurdled past Jeremy Chardy, 6-3, 6-2, while Italy’s Andreas Seppi set up a second-round clash with fourth seed Tomas Berdych after dismissing qualifier Michael Berrer of Germany 6-2, 7-6(5).