Rain Washes Out Most of Thursday at WTA Tokyo

Posted on October 6, 2006

TOKYO, Japan -- After Youlia Fedossova and Ai Sugiyama finished their singles matches under the roof of Ariake Coliseum, rain showers stopped all other Sony Ericsson WTA Tour matches at the AIG Japan Open on Thursday.

Supported by hundreds of fans, Tokyo native Sugiyama squeezed by American teenager Vania King, 64 57 75, to reach her ninth quarterfinal at this $175,000 event. The 31-year-old will next try to get past Chan Yung-Jan on her quest for a third AIG Japan Open title.

"I knew it would be tough," said Sugiyama, who won the trophy here in 1997 and 1998. "But it was tougher than expected. We played on a fast court and she hits flat balls. But the big crowd out there really helped. Maybe I should say thanks to (Roger) Federer (who played later on centre court) for bringing the crowd."

King had mixed feelings about her game.

"I'm happy because I feel I've improved a lot." King said. "I know I played really well today. I'm also very upset that I lost because my shot was called out on match point and I thought it was in so, it's very frustrating for me right now. Ai Sugiyama is a great player and I have a lot of respect for her. She played really well today. At this point, I'm just looking ahead to my next tournament in Bangkok."

Lucky loser Fedossova was also pushed to her limits to get past Japanese wild card Akiko Morigami, 46 75 63. The 18-year-old Frenchwoman will be playing her second career Tour quarterfinal. Two years ago, she lost to eventual champion Maria Sharapova in the quarters here.

Top seed Marion Bartoli returns to action on Friday against Vera Dushevina, while Alicia Molik will take on Jamea Jackson. Junri Namigata is up against Paola Suarez.
-- WTA