It was a packed day of action in Tokyo on Wednesday as the 1st and 2nd rounds were both wrapped up. The biggest shock came as Maria Kirilenko turned the tables on Sam Stosur for a 6-2 4-6 6-4 win in an absorbing encounter. I wasn’t able to watch their epic match at their US Open so I was happy to be able to see some of the third set. Both players were committed to the match as they played out some punishing rallies. Stosur fought hard but was disappointing in her first match after beating Serena Williams in the US Open final. She made some criminal errors and was extremely angry towards the end of the match, which showed how much this match meant to her. It was a good win for Kirilenko who played well using her excellent net skills to good effect.
Kirilenko will now play Ana Ivanovic in the third round after she beat the young Brit Laura Robson, 6-4 7-5. Robson had numerous chances during the match to make the scoreline even closer but she could not make her advantage tell; most notably she wasted a double break in the 2nd set and three break points at 4-4 in the 2nd set. Robson’s biggest flaw is her mental game and she needs to work on being more positive as she often beats herself up after a bad shot and lets the frustration carry on for too long afterwards.
I still think that Robson will be a big star in the future because she has some fantastic weapons that were causing some damage to Ivanovic today. Her forehand is superb and the 1st serve wins many free points – she won 81% of her first serves in the first set but this figure dipped in the second. On this occasion, Ivanovic was the more consistent player and put in one of her more competent serving displays hitting 11 aces throughout the match. Ivanovic could have exploited Robson’s poor movement more, which she was able to do to convert on her first match point.
Ivanovic played some consistent tennis today and will look to take advantage of Stosur’s exit as she plays Kirilenko next
In other matches, Victoria Azarenka strolled past Irina-Camelia Begu as she saved all 9 break points against her in a 6-1 6-3 victory. Agnieszka Radwanska did well to beat the in-form Angelique Kerber after losing the first set, and will now play Jelena Jankovic in an intriguing third round match. Peng Shuai beat both Jill Craybas and Christina McHale today with bagels in each of her matches. She looked to be struggling to close her second round match out but saved three break points in the final game for a surprisingly routine 6-0 6-3 victory over McHale. Two more seeds fell as the disappointing Shahar Peer was routed by Klara Zakopalova, 6-3 6-1 and the ever-improving Vania King took out Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova, 6-4 7-6. In the last match of the day, Caroline Wozniacki was taken the distance by the sometimes fantastic, sometimes terrible Jarmila Gajdosova, but came through 6-1 6-7 6-3.