Sugiyama tossed out in 1st round at Toray Open

first_img IN FIVE EASY PIECES WITH TAKE 5 GET THE BEST OF THE JAPAN TIMES On a day of mixed fortunes for host Japan, Rika Fujiwara was the second to bite the dust in straight sets to fifth-seed Czech Nicole Vaidisova but Saori Obata defeated Kveta Peschke of the Czech Republic 6-2, 6-1 to reach the second round.The eighth-seeded Ivanovic broke unseeded Sugiyama once in the first set and twice in the second set, reeling off eight aces to Sugiyama’s one and needing just 45 minutes to dispose of her opponent at Tokyo Metropolitan Gymnasium.“Of course, her strokes and serves were very good but today it was more a fault with my own game. I self-destructed,” said World No. 26 Sugiyama, who appeared sluggish throughout the entire match.Elsewhere, Vaidisova brushed aside Fujiwara 6-3, 6-1 while sixth-seeded Daniela Hantuchova of Slovakia battled back for a 2-6, 6-4, 6-4 victory over Jelena Jankovic of Serbia and Montenegro.Hantuchova, who was the last person to beat top seed and defending champion Maria Sharapova two years ago at the Tokyo meet, said she became more aggressive and settled down as the match wore on.“I tried to be more aggressive and go for my shots. I was waiting for chances and when they came I took them,” said Hantuchova.Hantuchova said she looked forward to facing Sharapova, the world No. 4 ranked player, here again.“I feel like I always play well here because the surface is similar to grass and I like grass. Hopefully this year, it will be a few steps farther for me,” said Hantuchova, who has reached the quarterfinals at the Tokyo meet the past two years.Sharapova said in a press conference earlier that despite winning only one grand slam in her career (2004 Wimbledon title) she does not feel like she has hit a wall and is looking forward to making progress this year.“At this point in my career I’m very happy with the way I’m playing,” said the Russian teenager. “Of course, there are many high expectations of me but it’s not going to happen overnight.”Former World No. 1 Martina Hingis, who is making a comeback to the tournament as a wildcard after coming out of retirement, faces South Korean Cho Yoon Jeon in the first round on Wednesday.The 25-year-old Swiss player, who recovered from ankle surgery and reached the quarterfinals against Kim Clijsters in her return to professional tennis at the Australian Open, is a record four-time winner of the Tokyo meet.In other first-round matches, Katarina Srebotnik of Slovenia downed American Jill Craybas 7-8 (8-6), 6-3, Maria Kirilenko of Russia ousted Italy’s Mara Santangelo 6-4, 6-1, and Marion Bartoli of France was a 6-3, 6-0 winner over compatriot Tatiana Golovin.In doubles first-round action, top seeds Rennae Stubbs of Australia and Zimbabwe’s Cara Black thrashed Japanese duo Aiko Nakamura and Miho Saeki 6-3, 6-2.On the same day, the Japan Tennis Association announced that men’s world No. 1 Roger Federer will play at the AIG Japan Open at Ariake Tennis Forest Park from Oct. 2-8. center_img Local favorite Ai Sugiyama was knocked out in the first round of the Toray Pan Pacific Open on Tuesday after a 6-3, 6-0 drubbing to teenager Ana Ivanovic of Serbia and Montenegro.Ai Sugiyama returns a shot during her first-round match against Ana Ivanovic of Serbia and Montenegro at the Toray Pan Pacific Open.last_img