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Stosur's Winning Return

Samantha Stosur needed just 55 minutes to get through the first match of her title defense.

Published October 11, 2010 12:00

Stosur's Winning Return
Samantha Stosur

OSAKA, Japan - A year ago Samantha Stosur had lost all five of her career finals then came to Osaka for the HP Open and changed all that, going all the way to her first title; she made a victorious return to the event Monday.

Now ranked No.8 in the world and the No.1 seed, Stosur had little trouble against Japan's Sachie Ishizu, storming through the first set in 24 minutes and getting the only break of the second set to go up 5-3 and serve it out, 60 63.

"I didn't know much about my opponent before today. She's very young and the first round is always hard, but I'm happy to win," Stosur said. "I've always enjoyed playing in Osaka, whether it was last year or the ITF junior event here."

Last year, Stosur beat Caroline Wozniacki and Francesca Schiavone in back-to-back matches in the semis and final to win her first career title.

"I'm very, very pleased to win my first title after losing five previous finals," Stosur said after last year's final. "It has been a personal goal for a while, so I'm glad to have achieved it and it's the perfect way to finish my year in singles. My next goal is to reach the Top 10, for which I would need to play like today every day."

Check out the best pictures from last year in Osaka right here!

Marion Bartoli, ranked No.14 in the world and the No.2 seed, also made an impressive start to her HP Open campaign, firing five aces to no double faults during a 62 61 victory over fellow Frenchwoman Julie Coin. Bartoli, 26 years old, and Coin, 27, were playing against each other for the very first time.

No.4 seed Maria Kirilenko also advanced on Day 1 of the International-level tournament, beating Japan's Kurumi Nara in 56 minutes, 61 60. Nara held serve at love in the fifth game of the match; it would be her only time getting on the board against the Russian, who has five Tour titles to her name.

Also scoring first round wins were Coco Vandeweghe, Chang Kai-Chen and Stefanie Voegele. Vandeweghe pulled off the first upset of the week, bouncing No.5 seed Alla Kudryavtseva in just under an hour, 61 62.

Christina McHale, Tomoko Yonemura, Laura Robson and Natalie Grandin earned main draw berths with wins in the final round of qualifying.

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