Stephens tumbles out in first round, Ostapenko impresses

Tuesday, 16 January 2018 00:19 -     - {{hitsCtrl.values.hits}}


MELBOURNE (Reuters): Sloane Stephens became another big casualty at this year’s Australian Open as the US Open champion tumbled out in the first round against China’s Zhang Shuai.

The American 13th seed, who is without a win since her triumph at Flushing Meadows, looked assured as she took the opening set but Zhang hit back to win 2-6 7-6(2) 6-2 on Margaret Court Arena.

Stephens was not the only new member of the grand slam winners’ club in action on Monday, though French Open champion Jelena Ostapenko fared far better with 6-1 6-4 defeat of Italian Francesca Schiavone in the first match on Rod Laver Arena.

Schiavone, who won the French Open in 2010, threatened to take the second set before Latvian Ostapenko, seeded seven, clicked back into gear to ease through.