Yugoslav Jelena Dokic overcame a sluggish start to beat Indonesian Angelique Widjaja in straight sets in the second round of the Toray Pan Pacific Open on Thursday.
In her first match of the year after skipping the Australian Open, the No. 2 seed had to shake off a few cobwebs before sealing a 7-6 (7-4), 6-4 win at Tokyo Metropolitan Gymnasium.
“I hadn’t played for three or four months and I’d never even watched her play before, which is why I found it difficult at first,” Dokic said.
“But I did well to pull out the first set and it’s good to have a tough match to test me.”
Dokic crashed out of this tournament in her first game last year and looked set for a repeat as she made a number of unforced errors and lost the first five games.
But the 19-year-old fought back, saving four set points before taking the set after a tie-break.
After letting four break points go by earlier in the set, Dokic made no mistake when she next had a chance to break at 5-4 up and sent a powerful backhand drive down the line to seal a place in the quarterfinals on her first match point.
Two-time champion Lindsay Davenport powered through her second-round tie against Croatian Iva Majoli in straight sets.
The No. 3 seed, who clinched the title here in 1998 and 2001, sent down 16 aces in a 6-4, 6-4 victory.
Meanwhile, doubles specialist Lisa Raymond of the United States saved two match points before going on to defeat Bulgarian No. 5 seed Magdalena Maleeva 2-6, 7-6 (9-7), 6-2.
Thailand’s Tamarine Tanasugarn also came from a set down to upset No. 6 seed Silvia Farina Elia of Italy 6-7 (4-7), 7-5, 6-1.
Lina Krasnoroutskaya, who came through the qualifiers, booked a place in the last eight with a 6-7 (10-12), 7-6 (9-7), 6-2 win over fellow Russian Elena Bovina and No. 8 seed Elena Dementieva, also from Russia, cruised through after beating France’s Stephanie Cohen Aloro 6-2, 6-2.
Peachy Kellmeyer, senior vice president of tour operations for the WTA, attended the Toray Pan Pacific Open on Wednesday and gave the tournament a big thumbs up.
“I’m thrilled to be back in Tokyo to see how far this tournament has developed over the years,” she said. “Toray has been such a great supporter of tennis in Japan and of women’s tennis globally.
“It’s a tribute to this tournament that it’s now the biggest WTA Tour event in Asia outside the Grand Slams, and it’s an event that the players look forward to each year.
“The popularity of tennis in Asia is very important for the development of the game worldwide, and the Toray Pan Pacific Open plays a very big role in furthering this cause.”
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