Russians Sharapova, Kuznetsova Win Through at WTA Tokyo

Posted on February 2, 2005

Current slam title holders Maria Sharapova and Svetlana Kuznetsova of Russia led the winners Wednesday at the WTA stop in Tokyo, moving into the quarterfinals with straight-set wins.

"It took a while to find my groove and rhythm," said the No. 2-seeded Sharapova after defeating Venezuela's Maria Vento-Kabchi 7-6(3), 6-0. "I just needed time after coming from the Australian Open but I picked up my level in the second set."

The No. 3-seeded Kuznetsova overwhelmed Swiss qualifier Marie-Gayanay Mikaelian 6-3, 6-1.

Japan had a good day on the unseeded side with winners (WC) Aiko Nakamura (d. countrywoman (Q) Fuda in three) and Akiko Morigami (d. Sanchez Lorenzo), with American Jill Craybas (d. Panova in three) also posting a win in first-round play.

Thursday's match-ups in Tokyo are Vinci vs. Asagoe, Morigami vs. Dementieva, Davenport vs. Obata, Kirilenko vs. Hantuchova, Likhovtseva vs. Craybas, and Nakamura vs. Benesova.