(Photo credit: Jerry Lai-USA TODAY Sports)
Defending champion Liudmila Samsonova of Russia cruised to a 6-0, 6-2 win against Germany's Tatjana Maria on Monday in the first round of the Toray Pan Pacific Open in Tokyo.
The seventh-seeded Samsonova needed only 61 minutes to put away Maria and has now swept all 12 sets she has played in the Japanese capital. She struck seven aces and saved both break points she faced.
Also reaching the second round were Japanese qualifier Mai Hontama, Spain's Cristina Bucsa, Ukraine's Anhelina Kalinina and American Kayla Day.
No. 3 seed Elena Rybakina of Kazakhstan withdrew from the WTA 500 event due to an illness and was replaced by lucky loser Himeno Sakatsume of Japan.
No. 2 seed Petra Kvitova of the Czech Republic dropped four straight games in the first set before settling down for a 7-6 (2), 6-1 first-round win against Germany's Anna-Lena Friedsam in Ningbo, China.
Kvitova raced out to a 5-1 lead before Friedsam rallied to tie the match and eventually force the tiebreak. Kvitova committed eight double faults but successfully converted all seven of her break chances.
No. 4 Anna Blinkova of Russia beat Slovakia's Viktoria Hruncakova 6-3, 7-5 and No. 8 Lucia Bronzetti of Italy held off Switzerland's Jil Teichmann 7-6 (6), 6-4. Russia's Vera Zvonareva knocked out seventh-seeded Katie Boulter of England 6-4, 4-6, 7-6 (3).
--Field Level Media