Maria Sharapova will face Heather Watson in the second round of the Japan Open after the British qualifier ousted Germany’s Sabine Lisicki on Monday.
World No. 78 Watson made up 48 ranking places to upset Lisicki 6-4, 7-6(3) on the hard court in Tokyo and set up a meeting with Sharapova, whose status as second seed meant she received a first-round bye.
Watson’s win prevents a rematch between Sharapova and Lisicki, who have clashed memorably at Wimbledon on three occasions, the Russian winning last year’s semifinal and beating Lisicki at the Olympics in August, but losing to the German in the fourth round at SW19 this year.
Elsewhere, world No. 10 Marion Bartoli secured her place in the second round by beating local hero Kimiko Date-Krumm in straight sets.
France’s Bartoli, seeded ninth in Tokyo, beat the 41-year-old veteran Date-Krumm 6-1, 6-4.
Bartoli’s opponent in the second round will be German 17th seed Julia Goerges, who beat her Romanian first-round opponent Monica Niculescu 6-3, 6-2.
Meanwhile, former world No. 1 Ana Ivanovic was leading 6-3, 2-0 when her Czech opponent Andrea Hlavackova retired. She will now play Urszula Radwanska.
Former French open champion Francesca Schiavone knocked out Kazakhstan’s Yaroslava Shvedova 6-4, 7-6(4), 6-4. The Italian's reward is a second-round match with eighth seed Sam Stosur.
Russian No. 6 Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova beat South Africa’s Chanelle Scheepers, winning a tight match 6-4, 4-6, 7-5, and will now face seventh seed Li Na.