Top seeds Ferrer and Venus advance in Tokyo

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TOKYO, Oct 3 (Reuters) Top seed David Ferrer beat South African Wesley Moodie 7-6 6-2 to reach the last 16 of the Japan Open today.

Meanwhile, Wimbledon champion Venus Williams crushed fellow American Vania King 6-0 6-4 to book a spot in the quarter-finals of the tier three women's event in Tokyo.

Ferrer, the men's top seed following the late withdrawal of world number one Roger Federer, overcame a sluggish start to see off Moodie in 92 minutes.

Spain's world number eight found his game in the first set tiebreak, taking it 7-5. Moodie slammed his racket to the floor in anger at losing the breaker and never recovered.

''I'm not thinking about Roger Federer -- just of me,'' said US Open semi-finalist Ferrer, yet to clinch his place at next month's season-ending Tennis Masters Cup.

''I don't think that just because Roger isn't here I'm going to win the tournament. It's just a very important time for me in the race for Shanghai.'' Ferrer, lying sixth in the ATP Champions Race, takes on Vincent Spadea next after the American knocked out 14th-seeded Argentine Sergio Roitman with a 4-6 6-1 7-6 win.

Former champion Lleyton Hewitt breezed past Slovenia's Luka Gregorc 6-3 6-3. The Australian plays Spain's Ivan Navarro in the last 16.

Russia's Dmitry Tursunov, who won his second title of the year in Bangkok at the weekend, also advanced, the sixth seed a comfortable 6-4 6-3 winner over Chilean Paul Capdeville.

Big-serving Croatian Ivo Karlovic blew past Germany's Benjamin Becker by the same score to set up a third-round match against South Korea's Lee Hyung-taik.

Former world number one Williams, who won the Korea Open title at the weekend, cooled off after a red-hot start but still had too much power for King, winning in just 66 minutes.

It was top seed Williams's 17th victory in 19 matches since winning her sixth grand slam singles crown at Wimbledon and kept her on course for the women's season-closer in Madrid.

''Winning here would help me a lot in terms of keeping distance between myself and the player behind me (Slovakia's Daniela Hantuchova),'' Venus told Reuters.

''I have to keep focusing but I have to say it's looking pretty positive.'' REUTERS TB SSC1415

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