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. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

Kirilenko Upsets Peer at the Pan Pacific

ReutersKirilenko playing a backhand against Israel's Peer in the first round of the Pan Pacific Open in Tokyo on Wednesday.
TOKYO -- Russian Maria Kirilenko swept into the final 16 at the Pan Pacific Open on Wednesday with a 6-2, 6-3 upset win over the seventh seed, Shahar Peer of Israel.

Kirilenko, who performed well at last week's Australian Open before being knocked out by compatriot Svetlana Kuznetsova, could have been forgiven for expecting a tough match against the Israeli, who came within two points of knocking eventual champion Serena Williams out of the Australian Open at the quarterfinal stage.

Kirilenko will play Ai Sugiyama in the second round of the $1.3 million tournament.

Martina Hingis played her second- round match Wednesday, and began her quest for a record fifth title with a crushing 6-1, 7-5 win over Australia's Nicole Pratt.

The former world No. 1, a quarterfinalist at last week's Australian Open, needed only 66 minutes to reach the last eight with a clinical performance on the fast indoor carpet.

"I beat her 6-0, 6-1 in Gold Coast in my first tournament of the year, so I was comfortable playing her," said Hingis, who won the Tokyo title in 1997, 1999, 2000 and 2002.

"I'm trying to be more offensive and take the game into my own hands. I know that's the direction I have to take."

Sixth seed Li Na won her opening match in equally convincing fashion Tuesday and plays Samantha Stosur next following the Australian's 6-4, 6-7, 6-4 win over Russia's Vera Zvonareva.

The winner of the Li-Stosur match will face Hingis in the quarterfinals.

Meanwhile, fresh from her victory in the Australian Open mixed doubles final, Yelena Likhovtseva continued her winning streak with a 6-3, 6-2 victory over Argentina's Gisela Dulko to set up a second-round meeting with fellow Russian and defending champion Yelena Dementyeva.

The world's current top-ranked player, Maria Sharapova, is scheduled to play her opening game Thursday against Francesca Schiavone of Italy.