Azarenka, Sharapova open with wins in Tokyo

Published September 25, 2012

| Sports Network

The top-three women's tennis players in the world, including Victoria Azarenka and Maria Sharapova, were among those posting second-round wins at the $2.17 million Pan Pacific Open tennis event, where 10 of the top-11 women in the world saw action on Tuesday.

The top-seeded Azarenka, of Belarus, whipped Austrian Tamira Paszek 6-1, 6-1 in 63 minutes, while the second seed Sharapova, of Russia, came from behind to outlast British qualifier Heather Watson 6-7 (7-9), 6-3, 6-4 in 3 hours, nine minutes on the hardcourts at Ariake Colosseum. A sloppy Sharapova piled up 14 double faults and had her serve broken eight times on Day 3.

The former world No. 1 Sharapova was the Tokyo titlist in 2005 and 2009.

The Australian Open champion and U.S. Open runner-up Azarenka will meet 14th- seeded Italian Roberta Vinci in the third round, while the French Open champion and Aussie Open runner-up Sharapova will face 16th-seeded Czech Lucie Safarova on Wednesday.

This week's top-eight seeds received opening-round byes.

Meanwhile, world No. 3 Agnieszka Radwanska topped former No. 1 and 2009 Pan Pacific runner-up Jelena Jankovic 6-2, 7-5 and fourth-seeded Czech slugger Petra Kvitova was upset by Croat Petra Martic 6-4, 6-4. Radwanska is the reigning Pan Pacific titlist, having beaten Russian Vera Zvonareva in last year's finale.

Up next for the Wimbledon runner-up from Poland Radwanska will be American qualifier Jamie Hampton, who upended last week's Seoul runner-up Kaia Kanepi, the 15th seed from Estonia, 5-7, 6-2, 6-3.

In other action involving top-10 seeds, No. 5 German Angelique Kerber handled Japanese wild card Ayumi Morita 6-3, 6-4; No. 6 Italian Sara Errani, the 2012 French Open runner-up, got past Swedish qualifier Johanna Larsson 6-3, 7-6 (7-1); No. 7 Chinese Li Na held off Russian Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova 7-5, 4-6, 6-2; No. 8 Aussie Samantha Stosur overcame Italian Francesca Schiavone 4-6, 6-2, 7-5; No. 9 Frenchwoman Marion Bartoli dismissed German Julia Goerges 6-2, 7-5; and No. 10 Dane Caroline Wozniacki, fresh off her title in Seoul, erased Slovak Daniela Hantuchova 7-6 (7-3), 6-1. Wozniacki captured this Tokyo event two years ago.

Meanwhile, Poland's Urszula Radwanska upended 11th-seeded former world No. 1 Serb Ana Ivanovic 3-6, 6-4, 6-2; 12th-seeded Slovak Dominika Cibulkova drilled Chinese Zheng Jie 6-0, 6-3; the aforementioned Vinci vaulted past French qualifier Pauline Parmentier 6-3, 6-1; Safarova moved on via walkover against fellow Czech Klara Zakopalova; and 17th-seeded Russian Nadia Petrova drove out Romanian Simona Halep 7-6 (7-4), 6-0. Ivanovic was a Pan Pacific finalist in 2007.

Wednesday's other third-round matches will pit Kerber against Urszula Radwanska; Errani versus Bartoli; Li against the hot Wozniacki; Stosur versus Cibulkova; and Petrova against Martic.

URL

http://www.foxnews.com/sports/2012/09/25/azarenka-sharapova-open-with-wins-in-tokyo/