Tokyo : Mexican qualifier Fernanda Contreras Gomez defeated 2020 Australian Open champion Sofia Kenin 7-6(7), 6-4 in the first round of the Toray Pan Pacific Open here on Tuesday.
The victory was Contreras Gomez’s first career win in a Hologic WTA Tour main draw match. Ranked No.131, Contreras Gomez will face No.4 seed Veronika Kudermetova in the next round.
Despite her position as a qualifier, Contreras Gomez was the higher-ranked player in her Tokyo opener. Kenin, who reached a career-high No.4 in 2020, has seen her ranking slip to No.315 as she works her way back from injury.
After saving a set point late in the first-set tiebreak, Contreras Gomez dominated the second set to build a 5-1 lead. Kenin fought valiantly to put the set back on serve, but Contreras Gomez broke the American one last time to seal the win after 1 hour and 46 minutes.
Contreras Gomez, 24, made her tour-level debut at Roland Garros in May. After qualifying for her first Slam main draw, the three-time All-American from Vanderbilt beat Panna Udvardy to earn her first tour-level win.
While she continued to successfully qualify at the Slams, it was not until Tokyo that Contreras Gomez earned a spot in the main draw of a WTA tournament.
No.6 seed Karolina Pliskova and No.28 Zhang Shuai needed just 57 minutes each to advance to the second round. Pliskova defeated Bulgarian qualifier Isabella Shinikova 6-2, 6-1 and will face Petra Martic.Zhang ousted Japanese wildcard Mai Hontama 6-0, 6-3. She will face No.2 seed Caroline Garcia.