Maria Sharapova cruised into the third round of the Pan Pacific Open today with a straight-sets defeat of Thai veteran Tamarine Tanasugarn. The world number two, who lost in the third round of the US Open earlier this month, ran through the first set before struggling to close it out in the second. After relinquishing an early break she regained the upper hand to complete a 6-2 7-5 win in one hour and 31 minutes.
“I served really well today. I had a good percentage and a few aces. It is definitely important for me to serve well because she reads the ball very well,” said Sharapova, the winner of this event in 2005 and 2009. “I played a good match. I had a little bit of a letdown in the second set and she started playing very well. It was much tougher in the second set.”
Seventh seed Marion Bartoli overcame stubborn resistance from Ayumi Morita and a partisan Tokyo crowd to advance 6-3 0-6 6-3. “It was exactly the same as our match in Miami earlier this year, with almost exactly the same scoreline,” said Bartoli, who was alluding to a 6-3 2-6 6-1 win. “Remembering that match helped me keep fighting until the end, even after losing that second set. She played very well though and really deserved that set. “We have the same game – she’s obviously very young but I think she’s improving all the time. Playing in your home country can be a lot of pressure.”
Jelena Jankovic, seeded eight, is also through following a 6-4 6-2 victory over Barbora Zahlavova Strycova.