Halard-Decugis survives scare in Tokyo

First seed Julie Halard-Decugis of France got a scare today at the $970,000 Japan Open in Tokyo, rallying past unseeded local favorite Shinobu Asagoe 6-2 3-6 7-5 in an entertaining second-round match.

First seed Julie Halard-Decugis of France got a scare today at the $970,000 Japan Open in Tokyo, rallying past unseeded local favorite Shinobu Asagoe 6-2 3-6 7-5 in an entertaining second-round match.

The 30-year-old Frenchwoman, ranked 19th in the world, was luckier than men's fifth seed Michael Chang, who fell to unheralded fellow American Cecil Mamiit to become the day's biggest-name casualty.

Coming off a loss to Serena Williams in last week's final at the Toyota Princess Cup in Tokyo, Halard-Decugis seemed to be on her way to an easy win against the 24-year-old Asagoe after drawing a bye Tuesday.

The world No. 69 committed several unforced errors in the first set and seemed rattled. But encouraged by the sparse yet vocal crowd at Center Court, she upped the tempo of her game and wrong-footed Halard-Decugis with a number of accurate crosscourt strokes from the baseline.

An upset seemed to be in the making with the third set tied at 5-5 and Asagoe serving, but Halard-Decugis pulled out the final two games with some of her most creative shots - including a perfect lob that left her opponent stranded at the net.

"I'm extremely disappointed," said Asagoe, who was the highest-ranked of four Japanese woman competing in the singles' tournament. "If I had won I could have gotten close to the top 50, which is my goal."

Halard-Decugis was visibly relieved.

"I didn't focus long enough during the match and let Shinobu come back into the match," Halard-Decugis said. "It was a good fight until the end."

In the surprise of the day, Chang lost 5-7 4-6 to the unseeded Mamiit, whose repeated charges to the net forced the world no. 34 into making an uncharacteristic number of mistakes.

"I wasn't able to put away as many balls as I'd like today," Chang commented afterward.

He built an early lead with a patient baseline game, pushing the ball deep into the corners and breaking Mamiit in the sixth game to go up 4-2.

But the 24-year-old Los Angeles native came back to break Chang twice in the first set as the one-time world No. 2 seemed to lose his composure.

Chang was blanked in the decisive 12th game, losing the set with a wild return from a hard Mamiit serve.

Mamiit, currently ranked 130th in the world, was only 4-10 this year going into his match with Chang, who was making his 10th appearance in the Japan Open.

In other men's action Wednesday, top seed Gustavo Kuerten of Brazil wore down Chile's Nicolas Massu 7-6 (5) 6-0 in a match of big serves and booming strokes.

Back from a trip to the quarterfinals at the Sydney Olympics, the 24-year-old world no. 3 was comfortable simply trading shots from the baseline with Massu.

The 21-year-old Chilean gave as good as he got for most of the first set but appeared to tire in the second, when he was broken three times and struggled with his returns.

Third seed Mark Philippoussis of Australia showed off his own power game in an easy 6-2 7-5 victory over compatriot Wayne Authors.

Other second-round winners in the men's singles included sixth seed Byron Black of Zimbabwe, who defeated Daniel Elsner of Germany 6-2, 6-1.

Black's younger brother Wayne beat American Taylor Dent 6-4, 6-2. Dent was playing as a substitute for German second seed Nicholas Kiefer, who withdrew from the tournament with an injury to his right wrist.

In other women's singles action, second seed American Amy Frazier needed to prevail in two tiebreakers to down fellow countrywoman Corina Morariu 7-6 (5), 7-6 (3).

But three other seeded women were knocked out of the tournament, including no. 3 Kristina Brandi, who retired late in her match with Tara Snyder after complaining of dehydration.

Results from the $970,000 Japan Open tennis tournament at Ariake Colosseum (seedings in parenthesis):

Men

Singles Second Round

Jonas Bjorkman (13), Sweden, def. Takao Suzuki, Japan, 3-6, 6-1, 6-1. Byron Black (6), Zimbabwe, def. Daniel Elsner, Germany, 6-2, 6-1. Harel Levy (15), Israel, def. Lee Hyung-taik, South Korea, 6-2, 6-4. Wayne Black, Zimbabwe, def. Taylor Dent, United States, 6-4, 6-2. Sjeng Schalken (12), Netherlands, def. Sergi Bruguera, Spain, 6-4, 6-2. Yoon Yong-il, South Korea, def. David Prinosil (14), Germany, 4-6, 7-5, 6-1. Eric Taino, United States, def. Vincent Spadea, United States, 6-3, 7-5. Cecil Mamiit, United States, def. Michael Chang (5), United States, 7-5, 6-4. Gustavo Kuerten (1), Brazil, def. Nicolas Massu, Chile, 7-6 (5), 6-0. Hicham Arazi (8), Morocco, def. George Bastl, Switzerland, 6-4, 5-7, 6-4. Karol Kucera (9), Slovakia, def. Leos Friedl, Czech Republic, 6-1, 4-6, 6-4. Kalle Flygt, Sweden, def. Andre Sa, Brazil, 6-4, 6-2. Andrea Gaudenzi, Italy, def. Leander Paes, India, 6-3, 6-2. Mark Philippoussis (3), Australia, def. Wayne Arthurs, Australia, 6-2, 7-5.

Doubles First Round

Thomas Shimada, Japan, and Myles Wakefield, South Africa, def. Goichi Motomura and Takao Suzuki, Japan, 6-4, 6-2. Brent Haygarth, South Africa, and Harel Levy, Israel, def. Byron Black, Zimbabwe, and Johanthan Stark, United States (6), 6-4, 6-3. Paul Goldstein and Jim Thomas, United States, def. Devin Bowen and Jack Waite, United States, 6-2, 6-1. Sjeng Schalken, Netherlands, and Laurence Tieleman, Italy, def. Giorgio Galimberti, Italy, and Andrew Ilie, Australia, 6-4, 7-5. Christophe Rochus and Olivier Rochus, Belgium, def. Tomas Cibulec and Leos Friedl, Czech Republic (7), 4-6, 7-5, 6-4. Petr Pala and Pavel Vizner, Czech Republic, def. Hicham Arazi, Morocco, and George Bastl, Switzerland, 5-7, 7-6 (7), 7-5.

---

Women

Singles Second Round

Tara Snyder, United States, def. Kristina Brandi (3), United States, 6-2, 6-5 (withdrawal due to illness) Sylvia Plischke, Austria, def. Wynne Prakusya, Indonesia, 6-3, 6-7 (2), 6-3. Joannette Kruger, South Africa, def. Paola Suarez (7), Argentina, 7-6 (5), 7-6 (0). Tamarine Tanasugarn (5), Thailand, def. Lilia Osterloh, United States, 6-3, 6-1. Amy Frazier (2), United States, def. Corina Morariu, United States, 7-6 (5), 7-6 (3). Janet Lee, Taiwan, def. Fabiola Zuluaga (4), Colombia, 6-4, 7-5. Miroslava Vavrinec, Switzerland, def. Rita Kuti Kis, Hungary, 6-3, 7-6 (5). Julie Halard-Decugis (1), France, def. Shinobu Asagoe, Japan, 6-2, 3-6, 7-5.

Doubles First Round

Rita Grande, Italy, and Meghan Shaughnessy, United States (4), def. Kim Eun-ha, South Korea, and Joannette Kruger, South Africa, 6-2, 6-1. Haruka Inoue and Maiko Inoue, Japan, def. Nannie De Villiers, South Africa, and Iroda Tulyaganova, Uzbekistan, 0-6, 6-4, 6-4. Nana Miyagi, Japan, and Paola Suarez, Argentina (2), def. Lilia Osterloh, United States, and Nicole Pratt, Australia, 6-3, 6-2. Janet Lee, Taiwan, and Wynne Prakusya, Indonesia, def. Annabel Ellwood, Australia, and Rika Hiraki, Japan, 7-6 (6), 6-0.

News
Susan Sarandon described David Bowie as
peopleSusan Sarandon reveals more on her David Bowie romance
Sport
Arsenal supporters gather for a recent ‘fan party’ in New Jersey
football
Sport
sportDidier Drogba returns to Chelsea on one-year deal
Arts and Entertainment
The Secret Cinema performance of Back to the Future has been cancelled again
film
PROMOTED VIDEO
Life and Style
Balmain's autumn/winter 2014 campaign, shot by Mario Sorrenti and featuring Binx Walton, Cara Delevingne, Jourdan Dunn, Ysaunny Brito, Issa Lish and Kayla Scott
fashionHow Olivier Rousteing is revitalising the house of Balmain
News
people
Arts and Entertainment
Christian Grey cradles Ana in the Fifty Shades of Grey film
filmFifty Shades of Grey trailer provokes moral outrage in US
News
BBC broadcaster and presenter Evan Davis, who will be taking over from Jeremy Paxman on Newsnight
peopleForget Paxman - what will Evan Davis be like on Newsnight?
Life and Style
fashionCustomer complained about the visibly protruding ribs
Voices
The new dawn heralded by George Osborne has yet to rise
voicesJames Moore: As the Tories rub their hands together, the average voter will be asking why they're not getting a piece of the action
Sport
Dejan Lovren celebrates scoring for Southampton although the goal was later credited to Adam Lallana
sport
News
newsComedy club forced to apologise as maggots eating a dead pigeon fall out of air-conditioning
Arts and Entertainment
Jo Brand says she's mellowed a lot
tvJo Brand says shows encourage people to laugh at the vulnerable
Life and Style
People may feel that they're procrastinating by watching TV in the evening
life
Caption competition
Caption competition
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Daily Quiz
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Evan Davis: The BBC’s wolf in sheep’s clothing to take over at Newsnight

The BBC’s wolf in sheep’s clothing

What will Evan Davis be like on Newsnight?
Finding the names for America’s shame: What happens to the immigrants crossing the US-Mexico border without documents who never make it past the Arizona desert?

Finding the names for America’s shame

The immigrants crossing the US-Mexico border without documents who never make it past the Arizona desert
Inside a church for Born Again Christians: Speaking to God in a Manchester multiplex

Inside a church for Born Again Christians

As Britain's Anglican church struggles to establish its modern identity, one branch of Christianity is booming
Rihanna, Kim Kardashian and me: How Olivier Rousteing is revitalising the house of Balmain

Olivier Rousteing is revitalising the house of Balmain

Parisian couturier Pierre Balmain made his name dressing the mid-century jet set. Today, Olivier Rousteing – heir to the house Pierre built – is celebrating their 21st-century equivalents. The result? Nothing short of Balmania
Cancer, cardiac arrest, HIV and homelessness - and he's only 39

Incredible survival story of David Tovey

Tovey went from cooking for the Queen to rifling through bins for his supper. His is a startling story of endurance against the odds – and of a social safety net failing at every turn
Backhanders, bribery and abuses of power have soared in China as economy surges

Bribery and abuses of power soar in China

The bribery is fuelled by the surge in China's economy but the rules of corruption are subtle and unspoken, finds Evan Osnos, as he learns the dark arts from a master
Commonwealth Games 2014: Highland terriers stole the show at the opening ceremony

Highland terriers steal the show at opening ceremony

Gillian Orr explores why a dog loved by film stars and presidents is finally having its day
German art world rocked as artists use renowned fat sculpture to distil schnapps

Brewing the fat from artwork angers widow of sculptor

Part of Joseph Beuys' 1982 sculpture 'Fettecke' used to distil schnapps
BBC's The Secret History of Our Streets reveals a fascinating window into Britain's past

BBC takes viewers back down memory lane

The Secret History of Our Streets, which returns with three films looking at Scottish streets, is the inverse of Benefits Street - delivering warmth instead of cynicism
Joe, film review: Nicolas Cage delivers an astonishing performance in low budget drama

Nicolas Cage shines in low-budget drama Joe

Cage plays an ex-con in David Gordon Green's independent drama, which has been adapted from a novel by Larry Brown
How to make your own gourmet ice lollies, granitas, slushy cocktails and frozen yoghurt

Make your own ice lollies and frozen yoghurt

Think outside the cool box for this summer's tempting frozen treats
Ford Fiesta is UK's most popular car of all-time, with sales topping 4.1 million since 1976

Fiesta is UK's most popular car of all-time

Sales have topped 4.1 million since 1976. To celebrate this milestone, four Independent writers recall their Fiestas with pride
10 best reed diffusers

Heaven scent: 10 best reed diffusers

Keep your rooms smelling summery and fresh with one of these subtle but distinctive home fragrances that’ll last you months
Commonwealth Games 2014: Female boxers set to compete for first time

Female boxers set to compete at Commonwealth Games for first time

There’s no favourites and with no headguards anything could happen
Five things we’ve learned so far about Manchester United under Louis van Gaal

Five things we’ve learned so far about United under Van Gaal

It’s impossible to avoid the impression that the Dutch manager is playing to the gallery a little