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Few surprises at Japan worlds

CROATIA'S Zoran Primorac rallied from three sets down yesterday to defeat Britain's Paul Drinkhall in seven sets at the world championships in Japan. Primorac beat Drinkhall 4-11, 11-13, 1-11, 11-4, 11-4, 11-8, 13-11 at Yokohama Arena to advance to the second round of men's singles.

In other matches, top-seeded Wang Hao of China cruised to an 11-5, 11-5, 11-5, 11-5 win over Turkey's Cem Zeng. Second-seeded Ma Lin, also of China, had a tougher time but eventually prevailed with a 4-2 win over Spaniard Alfredo Carneros.

In women's singles, top-seeded Zhang Yining of China coasted to a straight-sets win over Croatia's Andrea Bakula in her opening match.

Zhang, who won the singles gold medal at the Beijing Olympics, defeated Bakula 11-2, 11-5, 11-5, 11-4 to advance to the second round. Second-seeded Guo Yue of China also advanced after a 11-8, 11-3, 11-3, 11-7 win over India's Poulomi Ghatak.

Japan's Ai Fukuhara got off to a winning start, defeating Elena Mocrousov of Moldova 11-4, 11-2, 11-4, 11-7.

China is expected to dominate the event after winning all the gold medals at the Beijing Olympics. The Chinese players occupy the top-four seeds in both the men's and women's singles.

The April 28-May 5 world championships at Yokohama Arena will feature men's and women's singles, men's and women's doubles and mixed doubles.


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