Wed, Oct 31, 2012 - Page 20 News List

Morita makes convincing start to WTA title defense

IMPRESSIVE FORM:The defending champion breezed past Taiwan’s Lee Hua-chen, but Hsu Wen-hsin did make it through to the next round for the host nation

By Tony Phillips  /  Staff reporter

Taiwan’s Lee Hua-chen returns to Japan’s Ayumi Morita in their first-round match at the Taipei WTA Ladies Open at the Taipei Arena yesterday.

Photo: Lin Cheng-kung, Taipei Times

Ayumi Morita made a convincing start to the defense of her Taipei WTA Ladies Open title by breezing past Taiwanese qualifier Lee Hua-chen 6-2, 6-1 at the Taipei Arena yesterday.

The No. 3 seed showed why she is ranked 400 places above her 19-year-old opponent, needing less than an hour to book a second-round clash with Poland’s Paula Kania.

Morita is looking to continue an impressive run of form at the tournament having reached the last three finals. After losing to Chan Yung-jan in 2009 and Peng Shuai in 2010, she beat compatriot Kimiko Date-Krumm last year.

The 22-year-old from Ota City is looking to claim her first title of the year after suffering shoulder and back problems since her success in Taipei last year.

In the first match of the day, Kania made short work of Taiwan’s Chan Chin-wei to earn a 6-4, 6-3 victory.

The 19-year-old from Sosnowiec played consistently rather than spectacularly to defeat world No. 270 Chan, holding her serve throughout and facing only one break point.

The first set was evenly poised until Chan was broken to love in the seventh game after having only lost one point on her serve up to that point.

The 27-year-old from Kaohsiung was never really able to get back into the contest from then on and put a forehand into the net on the first match point she faced to end the 1 hour, 9 minute encounter.

Chan will be hoping for better luck in the doubles where she is teaming up with Date-Krumm.

Earlier, Thailand’s Varatchya Wongteanchai sprang a surprise on compatriot Noppawan Lertcheewakarn, beating an opponent almost 100 places higher in the world rankings.

Wongteanchai was only playing because Zhou Yi-miao of China pulled out.

Wongteanchai beat the former Wimbledon junior singles champion 7-6 (7/3), 6-2.

At press time, Taiwanese fifth seed Chang Kai-chen was a set up against Luksika Kumkhum of Thailand in the final match of the day.

Chang, who is the highest ranked Taiwanese at the Taipei Arena, narrowly missed out on her first WTA title when she lost to Britain’s Heather Watson in Osaka earlier this month.

Also yesterday, Nudnida Luangnam of Thailand beat Japan’s Erika Sema 6-4, 7-6 (10/8); Misaki Doi of Japan defeated China’s Qiang Wang 6-4, 7-5; Taiwan’s Hsu Wen-hsin edged Chan Hao-ching 5-7, 7-6 (7/2), 6-4; Kristina Mladenovic of France beat Israel’s Julia Glushko 6-2, 4-6, 6-3; and Olga Govortsova of Belarus defeated China’s Zheng Saisai 7-6 (7/3), 6-1.

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