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Winning start by Sania

TOKYO: Sania Mirza had a great day as she won both her singles and doubles matches in the $170,000 WTA Tour event here on Tuesday.

The 37th ranked Sania humbled qualifier Vilmarie Castellvi of Paraguay 6-1, 6-3 in 59 minutes to make it to the pre-quarterfinals. Castellvi has been in terrific form with her deeds in the qualifying event, but Sania proved too good for her.

Sania will next meet the 71st ranked Aiko Nakamura of Japan who beat Mashona Washington of the U.S. in three sets. It will be a clash between Sania's explosive game against Nakamura's smart double-fisted Japanese style of play on both flanks.

In doubles, Sania and Shahar Peer of Israel beat Jilly Craybas and Carly Gullickson of the U.S. 3-6, 6-3, 6-1.

``Great,'' said the 18-year-old from Hyderabad. ``I played a good match, I got to play two good matches today. I'm hitting the ball good and I like the court. Hopefully, I can continue the way I'm playing.''

``As a tennis player, I'm bound to make a mistake, I'm bound to lose a game, I'm bound to hit some good shots and I'm bound to make some errors, so that's human,'' said Sania.

``I don't think anyone expect anyone to play perfect tennis all the time.''

Other women's seeds went through safely, although sixth seed Gisela Dulko of Argentina needed three sets to beat qualifier Hsieh Su-wei of Taiwan 2-6, 7-5, 6-2.

Fourth seed Maria Kirilenko of Russia, denied 15-year-old Japanese Ayumi Morita on her professional debut with a 6-4, 6-4 win. Top seed Vera Zvonareva of Russia fended off Catalina Castano of Colombia 6-2, 7-6(4), while Japan's Ai Sugiyama, the fifth seed, defeated Alina Jidkova of Russia 6-1, 7-6(5).

Three men's seeds — American Vincent Spadea, the Czech Republic's Ivo Minar and Robin Vik — fell in the second round.

Eighth seed Spadea bowed to Bjorn Phau of Germany 6-4, 7-5, Minar, the 14th seed, went down to Marcos Baghdatis of Cyprus 6-4, 6-2, while 15th seed Vik crashed to American Kevin Kim 6-2, 6-4.

Easy for Hantuchova

In Germany, Daniela Hantuchova beat Meghann Shaughnessy 6-4, 6-0 on Monday at the Porsche Grand Prix.

The WTA Tour said Clijsters likely will overtake Sharapova — who pulled out with an injury — in the rankings if she beats fourth-ranked Mauresmo and eighth-ranked Elena Dementieva on the way to reaching the final.

The results:

At Tokyo (Japan Open): Men: Second round: Kevin Kim bt Robin Vik 6-2, 6-4; Bjorn Phau bt Vincent Spaeda 6-4, 7-5. First round: Raemon Sluiter bt Lars Burgsmuller 6-3, 6-1; Jiri Vanek bt Lukas Dlouhy 7-6(4), 7-6(5); Rainer Schuettler bt Go Soeda 6-4, 4-6, 6-2; Alexander Waske bt Justin Gimelstob 3-6, 7-6(5), 7-6(3); Wayne Arthurs bt Takeo Suzuki 6-3, 1-6, 7-6 (2).

Women: First round: Maria Kirilenko bt Ayumi Morita, Japan, 6-4, 6-4; Sania Mirza bt Vilmarie Castellvi 6-1, 6-3; Jill Craybas bt Jamea Jackson 0-6, 6-1, 6-1; Vera Zvonareva bt Catalina Castano 6-2, 7-6(4); Aiko Nakamura bt Mashona Washington 6-7(6), 6-1, 6-1; Ai Sugiyama bt Alina Jidkova 6-1, 7-6(5).

At Filderstadt (Germany): WTA tournament: First round: Flavia Pennetta bt Julia Schruff 7- 6-2; Daniela Hantuchova bt Meghann Shaughnessy 6-4, 6-0; Dinara Safina bt Sandra Klosel 6-2, 6-2.

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