2016 Rio Olympics gold medalist Monica Puig advances to the second round of the 2016 Toray Pan Pacific Open with a first round sweep of the USA’s world no. 79 Varvara Lepchenko. Puig goes past Lepchenko with a 6-0, 6-3 straight sets victory after a one hour and fifteen minute opening round match. Monica Puig returns to the second round of a WTA tournament since an unfortunate first round loss to China’s Saisai Zheng in the 2016 US Open less than a month ago. The win also give Monica Puig first blood against 15-year veteran Varvara Lepchenko in their career singles head to head record.
Monica Puig kicks off the first round match by winning six straight games right out the gate. Puig ended her perfect first frame after just thirty-one minutes of play. Surprisingly, both Puig and Lepchenko finished with 4 second serves apiece during the match opener. Monica Puig wins out on the service game through the first serves, as she wins 13 of 18 (72%) first serve points against a meager 2 of 18 (25%) first serve total coming from Varvara Lepchenko. Puig also come out on top through the breakers. Puig broke Lepchenko three times out of five break point opportunities while managing to shut down both of Lepchenko’s two break point tries during the opening frame.
The second set sees Monica Puig win her eighth consecutive game, as the 23-year old Puerto Rican takes the first two games to start the frame. Varvara Lepchenko notches her first points of the first round match. Lepchenko wins back-to-back games to tie the set at 2-2. Puig regains the advantage by winning the fifth, but Lepchenko ties once more in the following game. Monica Puig then ends the first round match with three straight wins, starting with a 40-0 win in the seventh, to seal the Toray Pan Pacific first round match.
Monica Puig won the service game over Varvara Lepchenko during the forty-three minute final frame. She won 13 of 22 (59%) first serve points against an 11 of 21 (52%) finish from her American opponent. Puig also went ahead on the second serves with 8 of 11 (73%) second serve points to 5 of 9 (56%) second serves from Varvara Lepchenko. Monica Puig took a slight lead on the breakers as well. Puig broke Lepchenko two times out of three break point opportunities, while allowing just one of Lepchenko’s two break point attempts to go through.
Monica Puig will face the winner of the first round match between the Czech Republic’s world no. 16 Petra Kvitova and American world no. 70 Madison Brengle.
2016 Toray Pan Pacific Open wildcard entry, 19-year old Naomi Osaka moves through to round two with an upset win over higher ranked Japanese compatriot Misaki Doi. The world no. 66 Osaka stuns world no. 34 Doi with a 6-4, 6-4 straight sets win in a one hour and twenty five minute first round match. Naomi Osaka, who had a third round finish in the 2016 US Open, has now advanced past the opening round of her third consecutive WTA tournament. Osaka also takes first blood against her Japanese senior in their career singles head to head match record. Misaki Doi, on the other hand, bows out of the first round in her third straight WTA tournament.
The higher ranked Misaki Doi begins the opening set by winning two of the first three games for an early 2-1 advantage. Naomi Osaka retaliates by winning four straight games to grab a 4-2 lead over Misaki Doi. Doi trims lead down to one after winning a long rally in the seventh. Naomi Osaka promptly wins the following game to reach set point opportunity at 5-3. Misaki Doi manages to save set point with a 40-0 win in the ninth, but drops the tenth game to Naomi Osaka, who takes the final game of the first set with a 40-0 win of her own.
The second set sees Misaki Doi win the first game for a second consecutive time. Much like the in the first set the 19-year old Naomi Osaka bounces back to capture the lead, as she wins three straight games for a 3-1 lead. Doi gains ground, 3-2, with a 40-30 win in the following game. Naomi Osaka then extends her lead back to two, 4-2, after a 40-30 win of her own in the sixth. Doi and Osaka split the next two games, bringing Naomi Osaka to match point, 5-3, heading into the ninth game. Misaki Doi saves set point with another 40-30 win, but drops the tenth game to Osaka as the Japanese teen seals the first round match with a 40-30 win in the tenth.
Naomi Osaka and Misaki Doi finished the forty-six minute final frame with 11 second serve points each. Naomi Osaka wins out on the second serves, 11 of 20 (55%) to 7 of 11 (55%) from Doi, to take the advantage on the service game. Osaka also had 3 aces to 1 against Doi to help her come out on top of the serves. Naomi Osaka also had the only break point of the final frame. Osaka succeeded in converting her lone break point attempt while managing to save Misaki Doi’s single break point try.
Naomi Osaka awaits for the winner of the first round match between 2016 Toray Pan Pacific Open sixth seed Dominika Cibulkova and Czech world no. 43 Lucie Safarova.