Hantuchova and Kanepi wins first round matches in Tokyo

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After her great tournament in Guangzhou last week where she won the title by beating Laura Robson of Britain, Su-Wei Hsieh of Taiwan just could not keep her winning streak going against the crafty all court play of the Czech Klara Zakopalova. The two and a quarter hours on court covered three sets, with Zakopalova taking the first set 6-3 and Hsieh coming out stronger in the second, to win it on a tie breaker 10-8. But she ran out of steam in the third, with Zakopalova taking it 6-1 for game, set and match.

Daniela Hantuchova of Slovakia, once as high as number five in the world, had a real tussle with the Russian left hander Ekaterina Makarova. In a match which lasted a few minutes over two hours, the two fought the battle of the baseliners, with Hantuchova winning the first set 6-4 just before Makarova came back to take the second set with the exact same scoreline, levelling the match. However, it was Hantuchova who got the upper hand in the decider, claiming it 6-3. In both the first and the third sets, Makarova was 4-2 up before letting the Slovak back into the game and taking command and the sets.

Kaia Kanepi of Estonia, seeded 16, had a reasonably easy win over qualifier Silvia Soler-Espinoza of Spain on Monday as the last of the first round matches were completed. In a match which lasted an hour and ten minutes, she won the first set on the trot 6-1. Her opponent came out stronger in the second set, but to no avail, as Kanepi closed out the battle 6-4.

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