Classy Ana powers past Kleybanova

Classy Ana powers past Kleybanova

Ana produced a thoroughly impressive - and hugely improved - performance in the first round of the Toray Pan Pacific Open in Tokyo, as she beat world No.27 Alisa Kleybanova 6-3, 6-2 in just 63 minutes. Kleybanova came into the match having won the title in Seoul on Sunday, but Ana was far the superior player.

In her opening service game Ana produced one of the quickest, most emphatic games of her career as she won it in the blink of an eye with an ace and three service winners.

On the zippy court Ana's powerful returns came to the fore and she pressured Kleybanova's serve in the following game, winning a break. Ana hit a number of spectacular winners, a couple when at full-stretch, and was always the more consistent player in the rallies. A second break gave Ana the opening set.

The 22-year-old was relentless during the second set. She didn't let up, instead producing several more stunning strokes that had the evening audience gasping in awe. Kleybanova, meanwhile, struggled with her timing and was almost always the first player to breakdown during a lengthy baseline exchange.

Ana didn't face a single break point during the match, and breaks in games four and eight enabled her to power to a satisfying victory.

"I'm very happy with how I played," said Ana. "The court is very fast and I feel like I used the conditions to my advantage. I served very well and I returned her serve well too. I put quite a lot of pressure on her.

"I was moving well and hit some nice winners too. Overall, it was a very good start to the tournament against a really tricky opponent."

Ana takes on either Frenchwoman Marion Bartoli or Belgium's Yanina Wickmayer in the second round on Tuesday. It rained on Monday but the Centre Court at the Ariake Coliseum has a roof, which enabled Ana's match to take place.

However, she is scheduled to play the second match on Court 2 on Tuesday, with play beginning at 12pm. That court does not have a roof, but due to the congested schedule of the 56-woman draw, some matches were played off-site at an indoor venue on Monday, and the same could occur on Tuesday.