Stosur Survives Bird Attack
Published October 11, 2011 12:40
OSAKA, Japan - Top seed Samantha Stosur averted disaster in the first round of the $220,000 HP Open on Tuesday, the 27-year-old Australian edging world No.168 Noppawan Lertcheewakarn in three sets for just her second match victory since winning the US Open.
After Stosur and Lertcheewakarn - whose nickname is Nok, which means bird in Thai - exchanged breaks in the first set, the Grand Slam champion broke again for 5-3 and served it out. But things went against the script when the young Thai qualifier, junior champion at Wimbledon in 2009, scored the sole break in the second set to force the decider.
An early break helped Stosur to a 3-0 lead in the third, however Lertcheewakarn drew level at 5-5. But after Stosur had survived a six-deuce game she scored the decisive break to close out the two-hour 13-minute contest, 63 36 75.
Next up for the 2009 Osaka champion is Japan's Misaki Doi, who beat Coco Vandeweghe on Monday. In other results on Tuesday, No.3 seed Angelique Kerber breezed past wildcard Kurumi Nara, 62 61; fifth-seeded Jarmila Gajdosova was also little troubled by wildcard Aiko Nakamura, 60 61.
There was better news for the home contingent when No.6 seed Ayumi Morita downed Zhang Shuai of China, 76(3) 62, and Japanese qualifier Erika Sema beat Mandy Minella, 63 63. But Kimiko Date-Krumm departed.
A protagonist in the oldest known WTA final here 12 months ago, the 41-year-old trailed No.4 seed Petra Cetkovska by a set and 5-3 before drawing level at 5-5 and recouped another break when Cetkovska served for the match at 6-5. But the Czech dominated the ensuing tie-break to seal the win, 62 76(2).
Zheng Jie, Olga Govortsova and Yaroslava Shvedova also posted wins.
Defending champion Tamarine Tanasugarn plays her second round match against France's Mathilde Johansson on Wednesday. Zheng and Gajdosova also face off.