No. 13-seeded Stephens was serving for your match from the tenth game with the 2nd set in opposition to Zhang Shuai but dropped her provide. She was outplayed while in the tiebreaker and in the third set, with Zhang successful 2-6, 7-6 (two), 6-2.
It always formed as being a tricky opener for Stephens, who hasn’t won a tour-level match since her triumph at the U.S. Open last 12 months and dealing with a participant ranked No. 34, two places off being seeded for the very first big from the year.
Stephens failed to engage in final year’s Australian Open up because of the remaining foot harm that held her from action until eventually Wimbledon. Since beating Madison Keys during the U.S. Open up ultimate, Stephens has shed eight matches.
“Sloane she performs so effectively, gained the U.S. Open up – everyone knows – she’s a great player,” Zhang reported. “I understand how difficult I am performing … coming to Australia I am completely ready for each and every match, every participant. That’s why I received currently.”
There were two first-time important winners past 12 months, and both of those ended up in motion first-up on adjoining exhibit courts.
French Open champion Jelena Ostapenko designed a constructive begin using a 6-1, 6-4 get more than 37-year-old Francesca Schiavone. The age gap in between 20-year-old Ostapenko and 2010 French Open up winner Schiavone was the greatest of any while in the initially spherical at Melbourne Park.
Ostapenko saved two split points within the 3rd game with the opening established and clinched the established with an ace. Just after an trade of service breaks from the next, Ostapenko acquired the decisive break from the ninth game, then served out the match right after double-faulting on her to start with match stage.
The seventh-seeded Ostapenko is enjoying her third Australian Open – she innovative into the third round at Melbourne Park previous 12 months. Schiavone was playing within the Australian Open principal draw for the 17th time.
Fifth-seeded Venus Williams, who lost final year’s Australian Open remaining to her sister, Serena, is definitely the only participant older than Schiavone while in the principal draw of your women’s singles. Williams was participating in Belinda Bencic while in the adhering to match on Rod Laver Arena.
In other early first-round effects, 12th-seeded Julia Goerges extended her winning streak to fifteen matches that has a 6-4, 6-4 get over Sofia Kenin, Alize Cornet beat Chinese wild-card entry Wang Xinyu 6-4, 6-2 and No. 19 Magdalena Rybarikova defeat Taylor Townsend 6-0, 7-5.