Top seeded Jelena Jankovic pulled out of the HP Japan Women’s Open being played in Osaka, Japan, this week before the tournament started and 2nd seeded Sabine Lisicki retired from the tournament after her first match – both with a left hip injury – leaving Samantha Stosur (Bio) as the highest remaining seed in the tournament. She won her first two rounds 6-4 6-2 before dropping a set to Misaki Doi in the quarters. Her opponent in the semis was 6th seeded Madison Keys (Bio) who lost just thirteen games in all in her first three rounds. Stosur led the head to head going into this match 1-0, as she won in straight sets in Indian Wells earlier in the season. It took Stosur just one minute over the hour to demolish Keys’ game on Saturday, winning 6-1 6-2 to put an end to the American’s great run and move into the final.
Her opponent will be the fast improving 19 year old Canadian 5th seed and world number 35, Eugenie Bouchard (Bio), who took out the home favourite and 87th ranked Kurumi Nara (Bio). Bouchard lost just seven games in her first two rounds before dropping the first set to Barbora Zahlavova-Strycova in the quarters. The wild carded Nara had an easy straight sets win in the first round, a tough 7-5 7-6 victory against 8th seeded Monica Puig and then a three setter in the quarters where she dropped the middle set against Polona Hercog. In the semi, Nara and Bouchard traded breaks early on in the set before the Canadian won four games to take the first set at 6-2. She then built up a 3-0 lead in the second set and let the Japanese win just two games to again close out the set at 6-2 to reach her first ever WTA final.