Taiwan’s Chang Kai-chen advanced to the second round of the Japan Open by beating Christina McHale of the US 6-3, 7-6 (7/5) yesterday.
Chang had two aces and converted five of 12 break points at the Utsubo Tennis Center in Osaka, Japan.
Also in the first round yesterday, Samantha Stosur of Australia advanced by beating Erika Sema of Japan 6-4, 6-2, while Jamie Hampton of the US defeated Ayumi Morita of Japan 6-3, 6-2.
Stosur, who won the tournament in Osaka in 2009, had five aces and converted five of six break points.
The world No. 9 reached the semi-finals of the Pan Pacific Open in Tokyo earlier this month and is seeking her first title of the year.
France’s Pauline Parmentier, Casey Dellacqua of Australia, Britain’s Heather Watson and Misaki Doi of Japan also advanced to the second round.
World No. 1 Victoria Azarenka warned she was planning to finish the season with a flourish after ending a seven-month win drought at the China Open on Sunday.
“I have two more tournaments to play. It’s going to be about 10 more matches, so I’m looking forward to maximizing that potential in all of them,” Azarenka said. “It’s just going to be the last two pushes. I’m actually really happy that in the end of the year I am still able to have that determination I had in the beginning of the year, and the desire to go out there and win, and show my best tennis, to progress throughout difficult times physically and mentally.”
Azarenka next plays an indoor event in Linz this week as she prepares for the WTA Championships season finale, involving only the world’s top eight players, in Istanbul, Turkey, later this month.