• Kyodo

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Japanese ace Ai Sugiyama swept aside Croatian Jelena Kostanic in straight sets Friday to advance to the fourth round of the women’s singles at the U.S. Open.

The 12th-seeded Sugiyama broke Kostanic in the opening game and took just 58 minutes to demolish her unseeded opponent 6-1, 6-3 at National Tennis Center in Flushing Meadows to advance to the last 16 for the second year in a row.

“I was aggressive and able to play my game from the start,” Sugiyama said after the win. “I feel I’m playing better in each round and am looking forward to my next match.”

Sugiyama’s 15th overall win at the U.S. Open is a record for Japanese women, breaking Kimiko Date’s previous mark of 14 wins.

The 29-year-old from Chigasaki, Kanagawa Prefecture, will next face world No. 8 Jennifer Capriati, who beat Russian Vera Douchevina, in the next round.

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