14 Sep 2017 - 0:29

Krunic rolls on in Japan after Date tear-jerker


Tokyo:  Serbia’s Aleksandra Krunic powered on at the Japan Women’s Open yesterday by eliminating seventh seed Alison Riske, a day after ushering local favourite Kimiko Date into retirement.
It was a day of upsets at the Tokyo hardcourt tournament, with top seed Kristina Mladenovic the biggest scalp as the Frenchwoman was bundled out 6-4, 6-3 by Croatian qualifier Jana Fett in the first round.
World number 67 Krunic, who whitewashed the 46-year-old Date on Tuesday, stormed to a 6-3, 6-4 win over American Riske in sweltering conditions to reach the 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.
But there was another surprise later yesterday when Japan’s Miyu Kato toppled fourth seed Kristyna Pliskova – twin sister of world number one Karolina -- 7-5, 6-3 to set up a meeting with Krunic.
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.
Australia’s former US Open winner Samantha Stosur was bundled out by Spain’s Sara Sorribes.