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Ivanovic Cruises In Tokyo Opener

Ana Ivanovic was among the early winners as the first round continued at the Toray Pan Pacific Open in Tokyo. Kimiko Date-Krumm led three of Japan's very best players into the second round as well.

Published September 23, 2013 12:02

Ivanovic Cruises In Tokyo Opener
Ana Ivanovic

TOKYO, Japan - Ana Ivanovic was among the early winners as the first round continued at the Toray Pan Pacific Open, a Premier-level tournament currently celebrating its 30th year on the WTA calendar.

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The No.11-seeded Ivanovic lost the first game of each set but bounced back with six straight games each time to beat Annika Beck in just 50 minutes, 61 61. Ivanovic was playing Beck for the first time.

"It's tough to play someone for the first time," Ivanovic said. "You never know what kind of ball is going to come to you, and even if you try and prepare for a new opponent, it's always different when you actually go onto the court. But you just have to adjust and see what kind of weaknesses they have too."

Since the Toray Pan Pacific Open switched from indoors to outdoors in 2008, Ivanovic has not had the best of luck here - her best result in five attempts has been the third round in 2010. But if she's to continue the form she displayed on Monday morning, this could be her year to make a big impression.

"I'm very happy with the match today," Ivanovic said. "It was good to go out there and get used to the court and the conditions, and I'm happy with my level. I'm just thinking ahead to the next round now."

The home fans had a lot to cheer about as well - three of Japan's four Top 100 players were also in action and they all won: Ayumi Morita was first, blasting six aces en route to a 76(4) 63 win over Laura Robson; Misaki Doi followed, reeling off four games in a row from 5-3 down in the third set to edge Varvara Lepchenko, 67(3) 60 75; and finally Japanese No.1 Kimiko Date-Krumm, who was leading Anastasia Rodionova, 62 41, when the Australian qualifier retired due to a left abdominal injury.

Date-Krumm is one of just three returning champions this year, having conquered the event all the way back in 1995. The other two are Caroline Wozniacki (2010) and Agnieszka Radwanska (2011).

Winners in other early matches were Eugenie Bouchard, who won the first nine games of her match against Monica Puig and eventually closed out her fellow teenager, 60 64; Australian qualifier Casey Dellacqua, who took out Kristina Mladenovic, 75 61; and Flavia Pennetta, who won nine games in a row from 3-0 down in the first set to take control against Daniela Hantuchova, winning, 63 63.

Pennetta and Hantuchova were playing their first matches since the US Open, where Pennetta made her first Grand Slam semifinal and Hantuchova her first Grand Slam quarterfinal since 2008.

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