• Kyodo, Staff Report


Kurumi Nara advanced to the second round of the Pan Pacific Open after defeating Misaki Doi on Tuesday.

Nara, ranked 80th, knocked off her 86th-ranked Japanese compatriot and doubles partner 7-6 (7-1), 6-2 in a 1-hour, 40-minute match. Nara will face fourth seed Karolina Pliskova in the second round of the $1,000,000 event at Ariake Tennis Forest Park.

“It was a brutal match for both of us, and I’m glad I could win,” said Nara, who was made to work more than a straight-sets victory might suggest.

“There was more than a little difficulty playing her,” Doi said of her first match against her friend in five years. “Her footwork and the quality of the balls she hits are her weapons. She can do things I can’t, so there was a lot for me to observe.”

Pliskova, ranked 11th in the world, is 1-1 in her career against Nara, winning their last match two years ago in Beijing. Nara’s win came six years ago when they were both teenagers.

Also Tuesday, Ana Konjuh defeated Kristina Mladenovic 6-0, 3-6, 6-3, Madison Brengle got past Zarina Diyas 6-2, 6-2, Angelique Kerber ousted Daria Gavrilova 6-2, 6-2 and Samantha Stosur topped Alison Riske 4-6, 6-1, 6-3.

Belinda Bencic trounced Xu Yi-fan 6-0, 6-0, Elina Svitolina cruised past Olga Savchuk (UKR) 6-2, 6-0, Carla Suarez Navarro overcame Kateryna Bondarenko 7-6 (7-3, 6-2 and Dominika Cibulkova defeated Mirjana Lucic-Baroni, who retired while trailing 6-4, 1-0.

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