Japan Women’s Open – Wickmayer dumps Johanna Larsson

The top half of the Japan Women’s Open draw opened up even further on Wednesday, as fifth seed Johanna Larsson was eliminated.

Belgium’s Yanina Wickmayer defeated Larsson 7-5 6-3, while seventh seed Ajla Tomljanovic had to survive an early scare to reach the last-eight, after overcoming local hope Kimiko Date-Krumm 7-6 (7-5) 6-3.

If Tomljanovic had lost, Madison Brengle would have been the only seed remaining in the top half of the draw at the WTA International event in Tokyo after top-ranked Carla Suarez Navarro lost her first-round match to Kateryna Bondarenko.

Larsson struggled to make an impact on Wickmayer’s serve, with the Swede winning just 18 per cent of first-serve points she faced and converting only two of seven break-point opportunities.

Meanwhile, Wickmayer broke Larsson at key points in both sets.

After Larsson surged late in the first set, Wickmayer broke the former for a second time to claim the set.

Larsson broke Wickmayer in the opening game of the second but the 25-year-old responded immediately to level at 1-1 and claimed her fourth break of the contest in the penultimate game, as she went on to triumph in one hour, 41 minutes.

Date-Krumm started brilliantly against Tomjlanovic, winning the first three games, but the Croatian world number 61 responded by winning the next three.

Tomjlanovic would eventually claim the first set in a tie-break after 67 minutes before taking control of the match with four straight games to begin the second set.

Brengle cruised past Date-Krumm’s compatriot Nao Hibino 6-1 6-2 and the American third seed will face Tomjlanovic in the quarter-finals.

Meanwhile Brengle’s compatriot – and the sixth seed – Christina McHale trumped qualifier Risa Ozaki 6-1 7-5.