Misaki Doi added a first singles win at the Rio Summer Olympics to yesterday’s success in doubles, where she and her partner Eri Hozumi shocked second seeds Caroline Garcia and Kristina Mladenovic in one of the major upsets of the tournament so far. At her debut on the Olympic field, the 25-year-old met Yaroslava Shvedova in her first round singles match, after the player took the place of her original opponent, Galina Voskoboeva, who had withdrawn from the singles competition. Doi needed little more than an hour to win her match, and will join countrymen Kei Nishikori, Taro Daniel, Yuichi Sugita and Nao Hibino in the second round.
Doi recovers from an early break and claims the lead
Doi and Shvedova started their match on Court 6 at the Olympics Tennis Center, after the not kind weather conditions forced all the matches outside Centre Court to suffer a delay. The beginning saw the Khazak gaining an early control, battling the Japanese to gain an early break. Doi struggled much less to take the break back to 15 and immediately brought the game back on serve.
A better consistency showed by Doi with the first serve helped her to hold, without giving up any more chances to break to her opponent. Shvedova, on the other side, after saving a break point in the fourth game, dropped her serve in the sixth, one more time to 15, giving Doi an important lead. The Japanese kept it, and another hold didn’t save the set for Shvedova, who eventually lost it 6-4 on the Japanese’s first set point.
Shvedova attempts a comeback, Doi holds to win the match
The start of the second set kept following Doi’s momentum, with the Japanese playing a solid game when able to put her first serve in. Her opponent found herself still struggling during her service games, with important points won with her first serve, but also five of the seven double-faults of her match hit during this set.
After an exchange of holds to love, Doi attacked first, converting her second break point to take the lead in the set. Fallen 0-40 on her following serve, she scored five points in a row to hold and consolidate her advantage. Another close battle on the Khazak serve, in which the 28-year-old faced four more break points and saved three, and Doi widened their gap, securing a 4-1 lead.
Shvedova tried to keep her hopes alive by taking one of the breaks back right after, but a too solid game from Doi on her serve - dropping only two points in her last service game - saw the Khazak unable to recover her disadvantage, eventually losing the set 6-3 and seeing her campaign in the singles in Rio reach its end. For the Khazak it had been the second participation in the Olympics; in 2012 she had reached the second round both in singles and doubles. She’s still in the doubles competition in Rio, pairing Voskoboeva.
Misaki Doi will meet Samantha Stosur for a place in the third round; the Australian leads their head to head 3-0.