Sharapova targets Pan Pacific

2007-01-28 11:05

Tokyo - Russian world number one Maria Sharapova is aiming to celebrate her return to the top of the tennis rankings with a win at the Pan Pacific Open tennis tournament, which starts Tuesday.

The 19-year-old top seed lost to former world number one Serena Williams 6-1, 6-2 in the Australian Open final in Melbourne on Saturday.

But Sharapova is looking to regain the 1.34 million dollar Tokyo indoor title she won in 2005 and said her defeat at the hands of Williams would make her stronger.

In Tokyo, Sharapova is expected to face tough opposition in former world number one Martina Hingis of Switzerland, who dashed Sharapova's defence of the title with a 6-3, 6-1 semi-final win last year here.

Sharapova avenged the loss by beating Hingis twice, at Dubai and Indian Wells, for a 2-1 career record.

Sharapova and three other seeds - second seed Hingis, defending champion Elena Dementieva of Russia and Jelena Jankovic of Serbia - receive first-round byes.

Sharapova, in the top half of the draw with Jankovic and fifth seed Ana Ivanovic of Serbia, will take on the winner of the match between Francesca Schiavone of Italy and Japan's Erika Takao in the second round.

The Russian is on course for a possible quarter-final encounter with seventh seed Shahar Peer. Peer, 19, became the first Israeli player to make a Grand Slam quarter-final at the Australian Open.

The 26-year-old Hingis, who will play either American Meghann Shaughnessy or a qualifier, is also looking to win back the title she won four times - in 1997, 1999, 2000 and 2002. She lost to Dementieva in the final last year.

Hingis has been drawn in the same quarter as sixth seed and Asia's number one, Li Na of China, and in the same half as eighth seed Daniela Hantuchova of Slovakia.


AB praises selfless skipper

2010-11-21 18:15

Join the conversation! encourages commentary submitted via MyNews24. Contributions of 200 words or more will be considered for publication.

We reserve editorial discretion to decide what will be published.
Read our comments policy for guidelines on contributions. publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

Comment on this story
Comments have been closed for this article.

Inside News24

Traffic Alerts
There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.


Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.

Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire network.


Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.

Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.