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Struggling Kerber defeats local favorite Osaka at Pan-Pacific Open

by: AP | September 18, 2017

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TOKYO (AP) — Seventh-seeded Angelique Kerber of Germany beat local favorite Naomi Osaka 6-3, 6-4 on Monday to advance to the second round of the Pan-Pacific Open.

The victory was additionally sweet for Kerber, who was looking for revenge after the Japanese teenager knocked her out of the U.S. Open in straight sets.

"It's always tough to play against her," Kerber said. "I was trying to come out here and really focus on every single point and make it better than last time. ... She's a great player and a tough opponent. For sure she will have great success in the future."

Osaka lost to Caroline Wozniacki in the final of last year's tournament

Kerber will play either Madison Brengle or Daria Kasatkina in the next round.

Also, wild card Kurumi Nara of Japan overcame a slow start to oust Yulia Putintseva of Kazakhstan 2-6, 6-4, 6-2, while China's Wang Qiang beat Kristina Mladenovic of France 6-0, 6-0.

Meanwhile, organizers announced that Agnieszka Radwanska, a two-time tournament champion, has pulled out due to a virus. The 11th-ranked Pole was seeded sixth.

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