Tennis Stars Back At It In Japan

Big names at the Pan Pacific Open.

Robert Whiteby Robert White

The final Grand Slam tennis tournament of the year finished earlier this month, but the sport’s top stars aren’t taking any time off just yet. The Toray Pan Pacific Open is well underway in Japan and it features some of the world’s top female talent.

The top two seeded women, Victoria Azarenka and Maria Sharapova, both enjoyed wins on Tuesday.  Azarenka defeated Austrian Tamika Paszek 6-1, 6-1 while Sharapova experienced a tougher time in her match against Heather Watson of Great Britain, winning 6-7 (7), 6-3, 6-4.

Sharapova struggled with her serving game and lost service break twice while leading in two different sets during the three hour marathon.

Other big name winners included Angelique Kerber, Sara Errani and Samantha Stosur.

Stosur defeated an old enemy, Francesca Schiavone, 4-6, 6-2, 7-5. Schiavone claimed the 2010 French Open after shocking the Australian in the final, but had won just four of their 11 previous matchups.

Stosur, who started the year as the sixth ranked woman but has fallen to world No.9, saved 11 break points in two and half hours of play.

11th seed, and former world No.1, Ana Ivanovic lost a shocker against Poland’s Urszula Radwanska, 3-6, 6-4, 6-2. Ivanovic’s play was marred by error after error while serving 12 double faults and converting just four of 11 break opportunities.

Radwanska will play Kerber in the third round.