Tokyo, January 31:
Second-seeded Martina Hingis overpowered Australian Nicole Pratt 6-1, 7-5 on Wednesday to advance to the quarter-finals of the Pan Pacific Open. Hingis, who has won the Tokyo tournament four times, overcame a shaky second set to win the second round match. Hingis has won the 1997, 1999, 2000 and 2002 titles here.
Top-seeded Maria Sharapova of Russia, who won here in the 2005, has a first-round bye along with defending champion Elena Dementieva and will play her first match on Thursday. Sharapova will face Italyâ€™s Francesca Schiavone, who defeated Japanese wild card Erika Takao 7-5, 7-5 on Tuesday.
In first-round matches, Chinaâ€™s Zheng Jie defeated American Bethanie Mattek 6-2, 6-1 while Italyâ€™s Mara Santangelo overpowered Japanâ€™s Aiko Nakamura 7-5, 6-0. Samantha Stosur of Australia defeated Russiaâ€™s Vera Zvonareva 6-4, 6-7 (4), 6-4, Russiaâ€™s Maria Kirilenko cruised to a 6-2, 6-3 win over seventh-seeded Shahar Peer of Israel and Elena Likhovtseva of Russia cruised to a 6-3, 6-2 win over Argentinaâ€™s Gisela Dulko.
DELRAY BEACH: Top-seeded James Blake cruised to a 6-3, 6-2 win over fellow American Robert Kendrick in the Delray Beach International Tennis Championships. Two former Delray champions were other winners, 2005 champion Xavier Malisse of Belgium and 2002 winner Davide Sanguinetti of Italy. Malisse posted a 6-4, 7-6 (6) win over Colombiaâ€™s Alejandro Falla. Sanguinetti captured a 7-5, 6-3 win over Germanyâ€™s Philipp Kohlschrieber. Sam Querreyof the US had 20 aces en route to a 7-6 (10), 6-4 win over Lu Yen-hsun of Taiwan.