A shock straight sets loss for Australia’s golden girl of tennis, Sam Stosur, has sent the World No. 5 crashing out of the Australian Open in just her first match of the tournament.
Stosur was outplayed by Sorana Cirstea, World No. 59, and was her worst result in the tournament since 2005 when she also suffered a first round loss.
Cirstea took the game 7-6 (2) 6-3 and created a number of unforced errors, 33 in total, while hitting 12 winners of her own.
Stosur, the hometown girl, had won the previous two meetings between the pair but wasn’t competitive enough and failed to find any consistent form throughout.
She was able to saving three match points in the final game, but finally lost her serve the fourth time round on a long forehand attempt.
The loss for Stosur followed a poor lead up to the Grand Slam tournament as she was knocked out early at both the both the Brisbane and Sydney internationals over the past fortnight.
Australians Isabella Holland and Jarmilla Gajdosova also had tough days, losing to Shahar Peer and Maria Kirilenko respectively.
Meanwhile, former World No. 1 Maria Sharapova won an easy straight sets victory against Argentinian Gisela Dulko while No. 11 seed Kim Clijsters won her matchup with Maria Joao Koehler 7-5 6-1.
In men’s action, Lleyton Hewitt came back from lasts weeks’ poor preparation at the Sydney International to win against German Cedrik-Marcel Stebe.
Hewitt held off Stebe to take the first two sets 7-5 6-4 but dropped the third 3-6. He managed to win the final set 7-5 after initially falling behind five games to one to finish the game in just under two hours.
Novak Djokovic, the World No. 1, breezed to a 6-2 6-0 6-0 victory against Italian Paolo Lorenzi in his hunt for his third consecutive Grand Slam tournament.
World No. 5 David Ferrer won his matchup against Rui Machado 6-1 6-4 6-2.
Photo Credit: AP