Sugiyama cruises at SVW Polo Open

SHANGHAI, Sept. 9 (UPI) -- Second seed Ai Sugiyama of Japan, who is seeking her first title in over four years, got off to a good start Monday in the SVW Polo Open.

Sugiyama breezed to a 6-4, 6-2 victory over countrywoman Saori Obata in the first round of this Tier IV hardcourt event. The 27-year-old Sugiyama has not won a WTA singles title since the Gold Coast in January 1998 and was bounced in the second round of the U.S. Open by Amy Frazier.


Canada's Vanessa Webb will meet Sugiyama in the second round. Webb had a 6-1, 3-5 lead, when Japan's Rika Fujiwara retired.

China's Jie Zheng also advanced to the second round with a 2-6, 7-6 (7-4), 6-3 victory over compatriot Nan Nan Liu and Japan's Akiko Morigami overcame Australian Amanda Grahame, 2-6, 6-2, 6-4.

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