Seventh-seeded Angelique Kerber of Germany got a measure of revenge for a U.S. Open loss by beating Naomi Osaka 6-3, 6-4 on Monday to advance to the second round of the Pan-Pacific Open.
Last month, Kerber was knocked out of the U.S. Open by the Japanese teenager in straight sets.
“It’s always tough to play against her,” Kerber said. “I was trying to come out here and really focus on every single point and make it better than last time. … She’s a great player and a tough opponent. For sure she will have great success in the future.”
Osaka lost to Caroline Wozniacki in the final of last year’s tournament
Kerber will play either Madison Brengle or Daria Kasatkina in the next round.
Also, wild card Kurumi Nara of Japan overcame a slow start to oust Yulia Putintseva of Kazakhstan 2-6, 6-4, 6-2, while China’s Wang Qiang beat Kristina Mladenovic of France 6-0, 6-0.
Meanwhile, organizers announced that Agnieszka Radwanska, a two-time tournament champion, has pulled out due to a virus. The 11th-ranked Pole was seeded sixth.