Pliskova, Mertens progress in Tokyo

Seeds Elise Mertens and Kristyna Pliskova avoided upsets to advance to the second round of the Japan Women's Open Tennis on Monday.

Third seed Mertens, the world number 41, raced into a 3-0 lead in the first set only to be broken twice and trail by a break before recovering to earn a 7-6 (8-6) 6-1 victory in the WTA International event at Ariake Tennis Forest Park.

Pliskova, seeded fourth in Tokyo, saw off Taiwan's Chang Kai-Chen, the beaten finalist in 2012, 7-5 7-5. 

She will be joined in the second round by Jana Cepelova, who benefited from the retirement of Aliaksandra Sasnovich at 6-3 1-0 down.

Also on Monday, Wang Qiang and Han Xin-Yun defeated Hsieh Su-Wei and Misa Eguchi respectively in straight sets. 

In the final match of the day, Alison Riske (7) came from a set down to beat American compatriot Madison Brengle 5-7 6-3 6-4.

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