Safarova advances at Pan Pacific Open


Lucie Safarova of the Czech Republic rallied from a set down to beat U.S. teenager Madison Keys 6-7 (4-7), 6-4, 6-2 in the first round of the Pan Pacific Open on Monday.

The seventh-seeded Safarova saved eight of 10 break points to oust the unseeded Keys and advance to the second round, where she will face wildcard Belinda Bencic of Switzerland who overpowered Russia’s Svetlana Kuznetsova 6-3, 6-0 in 1 hour, 7 minutes.

Top-seeded Angelique Kerber of Germany has a first-round bye as does second-seeded Caroline Wozniacki of Denmark, who won this event in 2010.

The $1 million Pan Pacific Open, played on hard courts at Ariake Coliseum, was downgraded to a WTA Tier II event from this season, replaced by the Tier I Wuhan Open in China.