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More seeds tumble in Tokyo

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Originally published on: 26/02/10 12:50

On Monday top seed Dinara Safina, Venus Williams and Svetlana Kuznetsova all crashed out and after Tuesday’s unexpected results the six top seeds have now made a premature exit.

That has opened the way for the unseeded Maria Sharapova to claim her first WTA title since returning earlier this year from a lengthy lay-off due to a shoulder injury.

The Russian steamrolled 12th seed Sam Stosur 6-0 6-1 in just 57 minutes and, while Sharapova is now the only former winner of the tournament left in the draw, she is not getting carried away just yet.

“I just try to improve as each tournament goes, playing one match at a time and focusing on the task ahead,” the 22-year-old said

“When you don’t play well you have to learn to get better. It’s the first time I’ve had to make adjustments to my game and relearn the things that usually came so automatically. I want to finish the season on a good note.”

Sixth seed Zvonareva was the first of the major seeds to fall when she lost to fellow Russian Alisa Kleybanova 3-6 6-4 6-2.

Dementieva, the third seed, also exited in three sets when she was ousted by Ukrainian Kateryna Bondarenko 6-2 7-6 (7/3) 6-1.

Bondarenko, who reached the US Open quarter-finals earlier this month, had failed to take three match points on Dementieva’s serve in the second set, but after losing the tie-break recovered in fine style to win through.

Fourth seed Wozniacki was forced to retire due to illness after she trailed 22-year-old Canadian Aleksandra Wozniak 5-0 in the first set.

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