Nine of the top 10 ranked WTA players are competing in the Toray Pan Pacific Open Tournament in Tokyo Japan. U.S. Open winner Serena Williams is absent. The tournament is a Premier WTA event and is held from September 23 to September 29, 2012.
Maria Sharapova is seeded number two at the tournament but had a shaky start against Britain’s Heather Watson.
Maria Sharapova was tested by qualifier Heather Watson of Great Britain 6-7 6-3 6-4 to move into the round of 16 at Tokyoâ€™s Tan Pacific Open on Tuesday. The Russianâ€™s shaky performance produced 14 double faults and 67 unforced errors.
â€œI didnâ€™t play my best tennis but I ended up winning the match and I have a chance of going out tomorrow and playing better,â€ Sharapova said.
Number one seeded Azarenka had a much easier time, convincingly winning her match in just 63 minutes.
Top-ranked Victoria Azarenka eased into the third round of the Pan Pacific Open with a 6-1, 6-1 win over Austria’s Tamira Paszek. Azarenka played her first match since losing a thriller in the U.S. Open final to Serena Williams.
“This was my first match after a little break and that’s never easy,” she said. “But I was able to play some good tennis and I enjoyed it.”
Despite a political despute between China and Japan over islands in the East China Sea, China’s best ranked tennis player, Li Na chose to compete. Although suffering from a head cold, she defeated Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova of Russia 7-5, 4-6, 6-2.
One of three Chinese players who made the trip to Tokyo despite a blazing political row between her country and Japan, Li’s experience told after a wobble in the second set.
“I’m still not 100 percent,” Li told Reuters. “Just trying to stay healthy and taking (cough) medicine every morning and every night.”
In a surprising upset, fourth ranked Petra Kvitova fell to Croatian Petra Martic .
Petra Martic pulled off the first big upset of the Toray Pan Pacific Open on Tuesday afternoon, stunning Petra Kvitova in straight sets for the biggest victory of her career.
At Roland Garros this year Martic made her first big breakthrough, scoring her first Top 10 win over a No.8-ranked Marion Bartoli and reaching her first Grand Slam second week. But she also suffered a foot injury during that tournament and after having to pull out of a slew of events in the summer – including the Olympics – that momentum seemed to have come to a grinding halt.
Number three Agnieszka Radwanska of Poland defeated Jelena Jankovic of Serbia, 6-2, 7-5, while her sister Urzula Radwanska was also a winner over Jelena’s countryman Ana Ivanovic 3-6, 6-4, 6-2.