Tokyo - Serbia's Aleksandra Krunic made further progress at
the Japan Women's Open on Wednesday by eliminating seventh seed Alison Riske, a
day after ushering local favourite Kimiko Date into retirement.
The world number 67, who conquered her emotions to whitewash
the 46-year-old Date on Tuesday, powered to a 6-3, 6-4 win over American Riske
in sweltering conditions to reach the Tokyo quarter-finals.
Third seed Elise Mertens also booked her place in the last
eight, the Belgian overpowering Poland's Magda Linette 6-1, 7-5.
In first-round matches, Kurumi Nara upset sixth seed Naomi
Osaka 6-3, 6-0 as the next generation of Japanese tennis players took centre
stage after Date's tearful exit.
Osaka, who reached the third round of the US Open earlier
this month after stunning defending champion Angelique Kerber, left her game in
the locker room as she came out inexplicably flat.
"I felt really nervous," shrugged Osaka. "I
didn't cope with the pressure and I just think emotionally I wasn't really
Australia's former US Open winner Samantha Stosur was
bundled out by Spain's Sara Sorribes, who came from a set down to beat the
fifth seed 3-6, 7-5, 6-1.
Second seed Zhang Shuai safely progressed to the last 16 by
thrashing Dutchwoman Richel Hogenkamp 6-3, 6-3 as Tokyo organisers looked to
clear a backlog of matches caused by rain on Tuesday.
Results of singles matches at the Japan Women's Open tennis tournament in Tokyo on Wednesday (x denotes seeding):
Aleksandra Krunic (SRB) bt Alison Riske (USA x7) 6-3, 6-4
Elise Mertens (BEL x3) bt Magda Linette (POL) 6-1, 7-5
Kurumi Nara (JPN) bt Naomi Osaka (JPN x6) 6-3, 6-0
Sara Sorribes (ESP) bt Samantha Stosur (AUS x5) 3-6, 7-5, 6-1
Christina McHale (USA) bt Danka Kovinic (MNE) 6-2, 6-4
Zarina Diyas (KAZ) bt Misaki Doi (JPN) 3-6, 6-1, 6-1
Shuai Zhang (CHN x2) bt Richel Hogenkamp (NED) 6-3, 6-3