Third seed Elena Dementieva joined the long list of high-profile losers at the Pan Pacific Open in Tokyo yesterday, while Maria Sharapova, untroubled by the malaise affecting her peers, booked her place in the final 16. Though she had not dropped a set to her victor, Ukraine's Kateryna Bondarenko in four previous meetings, the Olympic champion Dementieva was toppled 6-2, 6-7 (3-7), 6-1 and joined Monday's first-round casualties - world No 1 Dinara Safina and second seed Venus Williams.
Caroline Wozniacki, the fourth seed, was forced to retire through illness against Aleksandra Wozniak while Svetlana Kuznetsova, the seed fifth, bowed out to Andrea Petkovic. Only three from the starting nine of the top 10 players that started the US$2 million (Dh7.3m) tournament were left when Vera Zvonareva, lost 3-6, 6-4, 6-2 to fellow Russian Alisa Kleybanova. The unseeded Sharapova, coming back from a shoulder injury, has been the tournament's saviour, thrashing 12th seed Sam Stosur 6-0, 6-1 in just 57 minutes. "I just want to finish the year on a good note," said the former world No 1. "I served smart. It was definitely a good day at the office all around."
Serbia's Jelena Jankovic joined Sharapova in the third round after beating Germany's Sabine Lisicki, 6-3, 4-6, 6-2. Dementieva, meanwhile, blamed her early exit on poor umpiribg. "There were way too many bad calls from the chair umpire today," she said. "I'm surprised they don't have a challenge system at such a big event." Dementieva, who went out in the US Open's second round, said fatigue also played a part. "I played way too many matches in the US Open series," she said. "I would have liked to have an extra week to get refreshed for this event."