Sole overnight leader Terunofuji opened up a two-win buffer Monday at the Summer Grand Sumo Tournament, improving to a perfect 9-0 while his closest rival, fellow ozeki Takakeisho, suffered a second defeat.

In the most anticipated bout of Day 9 at Tokyo's Ryogoku Kokugikan, Terunofuji survived a close contest against sekiwake Takayasu, who has dominated their recent head-to-head meetings.

Takayasu (6-3) kept Terunofuji away from his belt and almost pulled him down as the pair exchanged blows. With Takayasu driving him to the edge, Terunofuji slapped down the sekiwake just before stepping out.