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Bouchard crashes out in Japan Open opening round

Top seeds Shuai Zhang and Su-Wei Hsieh both advanced their Japan Women’s Open claims with victories in the first-round in Hiroshima.

Chinese No. 1 seed Zhang comfortably made it past Magdalena Frech of Poland in straight sets 7-5, 6-3 to set up a clash with Eugenie Bouchard’s conqueror Nao Hibino, while Hsieh fought back from a set down to eventually overcome Polona Hercog of Slovenia 4-6, 6-1, 6-3.

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The duo, though, will not be joined in the second-round by third seed Yulia Putintseva, who was forced to retire hurt through injury after losing the first set of her match-up with Anna Karolina Schmiedlova.

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Putintseva’s defeat was the only one by a top-eight seed, with the likes of Qiang Wang, Ajla Tomljanovic and Zarina Diyas all emerging unscathed from their matches.

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Earlier in the day, home favourite Hibino came through 6-4, 6-4 against Bouchard in another surprise result, continuing the former world No. 5’s poor form in 2018.

Bouchard, who lost to Marketa Vondrousova in the second-round of the US Open last month, also fell at the first hurdle in the Oracle Challenger Series at the start of September against qualifier Kristie Ahn.

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