CAROLINE WOZNIACKI at China Open 311 (R).
(photo credit: REUTERS)
Dudi Sela has still yet to progress past the second round of an ATP Tour
tournament this year, after falling to a 6-4, 3-6, 6-3 defeat to Tatsuma Ito in
the first round of the Japan Open on Tuesday.
The 26-year-old Israeli,
who had to come through two qualifying matches to reach the main draw in Tokyo,
was knocked out in the opening round of a tournament for the ninth time this
year, suffering his 13th defeat in 18 tour matches in 2011.
seven places in the world rankings to number 102 on Monday, dropping out of the
top 100 for the first time since May. But he will be hoping to end his year on a
high when he returns to the Challenger circuit in which he has already taken
three titles in 2011.
In other action, Rafael Nadal overpowered qualifier
Go Soeda 6-3, 6-2, as he began the defense of his Japan Open title in a blur of
swashbuckling winners on Tuesday.
The top seed produced some dazzling
shot-making under floodlights in Tokyo, taking the first set with a jaw-dropping
backhand lob at full stretch with the Japanese Soeda marooned at the
Nadal, sweat dripping from his purple T-shirt, kept his foot on the
gas in the second and the Spaniard teed up match point with a superb running
forehand down the line.
The world number two swiftly ended proceedings,
ripping another forehand deep into the corner to trigger a stampede as fans
rushed from their seats for the chance of an autograph.
“It was important
to win but I need to spend more time on court,” said Nadal, returning to Japan
after helping Spain reach the Davis Cup final.
“The balls felt a little
bit heavy so it was difficult to hit my top spin,” the 10-time grand slam
champion told reporters. “But maybe it will get better playing day
Nadal next faces big-serving Canadian Milos Raonic who beat
Japan’s Yuichi Sugita 6-7, 6-3, 7-6 in his first ATP match since undergoing hip
surgery after Wimbledon.
“Milos will be a dangerous opponent for me,”
said Nadal, chasing a 47th career title. “He has one of the best serves on the
tour. It’s a big advantage for him.”
In Beijing, US Open champion
Samantha Stosur lost in the second round of the China Open on Tuesday, beaten
for the second time in a week by Russian Maria Kirilenko.
Stosur, the sixth seed and world number seven, was beaten 7-5, 1-6, 7-5 by
Kirilenko, who defeated her at the same stage of last week’s Pan Pacific Open in
“I didn’t get off to as good a start as you want going into a
third set,” said Stosur. “Three love down and then 5-2 down – that’s not a
deficit you want to be in when it’s the last set of the match.
played two tournaments since winning the US Open, so I don’t think it’s the end
of the world with the two results that I’ve had,” she added.
champion Caroline Wozniacki reached the Beijing third round with a textbook 6-2,
6- 3 win over Australian Jarmila Gajdosova.
The Danish world number one,
who had struggled in her first round match, was rarely troubled by the
big-hitting, 34th-ranked Gajdosova.
She will now meet Kaia Kanepi of
Estonia, who beat her in the third round in Tokyo last week.
WTA women’s and ATP men’s tournaments at the National Tennis Centre in the
Chinese capital have suffered a bout of shock exits and injury pull
Home favorite and world number six Li Na exited in the first round
while world number two Maria Sharapova pulled out with injury.
world number one and defending champion Novak Djokovic also withdrew with a back