Hsieh Su-wei crashes out in Tokyo

Staff writer, with AFP, TOKYO

Tue, Sep 24, 2013 - Page 20

Taiwan’s Hsieh Su-wei crashed out of first round of the Pan Pacific Open in Tokyo yesterday, the world No. 64 falling to world No. 36 Magdalena Rybarikova of Slovakia 6-2, 5-7, 6-0.

Hsieh mixed two aces with six double faults and won two of five break-point chances as she rallied in the second set, but she fell apart in the third as her opponent created nine break-point chances and converted three, the Taiwanese failing to win a game.

Rybarikova next faces Kirstens Flipkens of Belgium, who defeated qualifier Barbora Zahlavova Strycova of the Czech Republic 7-6 (7/4), 7-5.

Japanese “Iron Lady” Kimiko Date-Krumm won her opening match yesterday, then all but ruled out playing in Tokyo at the 2020 Olympics when she will be almost 50.

“Eh? I’ll be 50. Fifty,” Date-Krumm said with a broad smile when asked about returning to the same waterside venue to compete at the Tokyo Games.

“I’m not [Martina] Navratilova,” added the former world No. 4, who reached the quarter-finals in Seoul last week.

“You’re asking if there’s a 1 percent chance? Well probably it’s 99.9999 percent I won’t, but I suppose you never say never 100 percent. It’s almost impossible, though I’d like to be involved in some capacity and support the next generation of players coming through,” she said.

Date-Krumm’s 6-2, 4-1 victory over qualifier Anastasia Rodionova — hastened after the Australian stopped with an abdominal strain — gives the world No. 63 a crack at another Aussie in the shape of 12th seed Samantha Stosur.

Seventh seed Petra Kvitova, surprise Wimbledon champion in 2011, became the first player to reach the third round with a 7-5, 6-4 winner over Switzerland’s Belinda Bencic.

Meanwhile, fifth seed Angelique Kerber pulverized Spanish qualifier Maria-Teresa Torro-Flor 6-0, 6-1 to book her place in the round-of-16.

Former French Open champion Ana Ivanovic, runner-up to Martina Hingis in Tokyo in 2007, flattened Germany’s Annika Beck 6-1, 6-1.

Ayumi Morita’s 7-6 (7/4), 6-3 upset of Britain’s Laura Robson and wild-card Misaki Doi’s 6-7 (3/7), 6-0, 7-5 victory over Varvara Lepchenko of the US made it a good day for Japan at the 30th edition of the Tokyo tournament.