Tokyo - Big-hitting Dominika Cibulkova will get her first
crack at newly crowned US Open champion Naomi Osaka after squeaking into the
last 16 of the Pan Pacific Open on Monday.
The beefy Slovak overcame the effects of jet-leg and pesky
local qualifier Nao Hibino 6-1, 5-7, 6-3 to set up a potential slug-fest with
Osaka in her first match since becoming Japan's first-ever grand slam singles
"I'm still fighting with jet-leg but it's going to be a
tough match (against Osaka)," said Cibulkova after a surprisingly tough
first match in Tokyo.
"She has just won a major so I hope it's going to be
packed and I hope for a good match."
Earlier, Spain's former world number one Garbine Muguruza
breezed into the second round, the sixth seed beating Switzerland's Belinda
Bencic 6-2, 6-4.
In other first-round matches, Italian Camila Giorgi
overpowered Japan's Misaki Doi 6-2, 6-1 while Estonia's Anett Kontaveit floored
Frenchwoman Kristina Mladenovic 6-3, 7-6.
Australia's Daria Gavrilova will need a lengthy ice bath
after a marathon 7-6, 3-6, 7-6 victory over Czech Kristyna Pliskova that went
to 10-8 in the third-set breaker.
Defending champion Caroline Wozniacki heads the field in
Tokyo, where the Dane is bidding to win a third successive title and fourth