Tennis - Wozniacki, Stosur bundled out in Brisbane

WTA round-up: Sam Stosur and Caroline Wozniacki both lost their opening matches of the Brisbane International.

Tennis - Wozniacki, Stosur bundled out in Brisbane

View photo

caroline wozniacki, brisbane

Former US Open champion Stosur conceded there was no magic solution to her problems on home courts after a shock loss to Sofia Arvidsson in the opening round of the Brisbane International.

The world number nine, who has failed to match expectations in Australian tournaments, lost 7-6 7-5 to the Swede five weeks after ankle surgery and only a fortnight before the Australian Open.

"Just really disappointed again, leaving Brisbane so early," Stosur said. "I think it was some good tennis and some pretty average tennis at times."

Stosur said the surgery and the subsequent shortage of training had not played a part in her defeat.

"I wasn't going into the match thinking 'Oh my God, I haven't done this or that'," she said.

"I gave myself every opportunity to try and play as well as I could but for sure, I have not practised enough.

"I guess going into the match you want to think that that's going to be enough, but I think tonight it probably showed that it certainly wasn't enough.

"I have a fair bit of work to do ahead of me. You could put it down to being a bit rusty and it's the first match."

Saturation media coverage and public expectation is again accompanying Stosur's attempt to add the Australian Open to the US Open title she secured by upsetting Serena Williams in 2011.

"I don't know how much of that really played into it," she said. "I've said it before, it's great playing out on a court where you've got the crowd behind you and trying to cheer you on and all that."

Stosur's last tournament before the Australian Open starts in Sydney on Sunday.

"I know that panicking doesn't help anyone get a good result or feel better," she said. "There is no magic dust that's going to make anything go away or fix it overnight or anything. I'm not the first player to have their home grand slam and not perform.

"There has been a few Australian and French players, you name it. It's a tough thing.

"Again, would I rather have a grand slam in my country than not? I would.

"All you can do is try and play your best. I know that people believe in me and what I'm trying to do are the right things. You just really want to perform right here, right now. That's what I'm going to keep trying to do."

Wozniacki's preparations for the Australian Open were also left in tatters after she was bundled out of the Brisbane International by Kazakhstan's world No. 103 Ksenia Pervak.

Wozniacki's defeat completed a disastrous 12 months in which the Dane relinquished the No. 1 ranking and failed to threaten at any of the major championships.

The world No. 10 started strongly but wilted as Pervak, a 21-year-old qualifier on the comeback trail from a serious pelvic injury, committed 61 unforced errors but still completed a 2-6 6-3 7-6 (7-1) victory for her first win against a top 10 player.

"Had a lot of long rallies and a lot of even games, and it just didn't go my way," she said.

"Obviously it's tough to lose 7-6 in the third. It was a tough match. Could have gone both ways. She just went for it and it went in for her. Hopefully I can get some more matches in Sydney and be more prepared for Melbourne."

Wozniacki said knee troubles had hampered her during the year.

"You know, I'm still 10 in the world," she said. "Just the most important thing is that you're healthy. I had some struggles with my health. Obviously that makes a difference.

"But as long as I'm healthy and I can fight and be competitive, that is the most important thing.

"You play the sport you love to do, and obviously it's more fun when you're winning. Right now in these situations it's not so much fun. There is always the next week - I guess that's the good part about tennis."

Wozniacki, sporting a ring on her wedding finger, downplayed speculation she was engaged to the golfer Rory McIlroy, who was among the spectators on Monday.

"It was a Christmas present and it fit on this finger," she said. "I put it on, and all of a sudden I hear that I'm engaged. I'm not. It's already twice we've had to shut down engagement rumours.

"Don't worry, we will let you know if that time happens. We're just taking one day at a time."

Pervak said she was reaping the benefits of strenuous off-season work following her recovery from injury.

"I had a stress fracture of my pelvis bone," she said. "It was pretty hard because you cannot really put anything to hold it because you still need to walk.

"I was really upset because I played really good tennis before then. I had a small injury in the beginning and I didn't want to stop for a while.

"I was continuing to play and just took painkillers, so it got worse. It's sport, I guess. It happens with everyone."

Defending champion Zheng Jie and former world number two Svetlana Kuznetsova were knocked out of the Auckland Classic in the first round on Monday.

Zheng raced to a 3-0 lead before losing 13 of the next 16 games to go down 7-5 6-1 to American Jamie Hampton.

The Chinese fourth seed followed in the footsteps of Hungarian Greta Arn, who crashed out in the first round last year after winning the previous edition.

Kuznetsova, returning from a knee injury, lost 6-7(5) 6-2 7-5 to unseeded Dutch player Kiki Bertens.

The Russian, twice a grand slam winner, prevailed in a tense tie-break to win the first set, then took an extended break for a foot injury after losing the second before Bertens won the deciding set.

The Australian Open begins on January 14.


Brisbane International

Monica Puig (Puerto Rico) beat Olivia Rogowska (Australia) 6-2 6-3

Sloane Stephens (US) beat Dominika Cibulkova (Slovakia) 6-2 6-3

Ksenia Pervak (Russia) beat 8-Caroline Wozniacki (Denmark) 2-6 6-3 7-6(1)

5-Sara Errani (Italy) beat Olga Puchkova (Russia) 6-1 6-3

Alize Cornet (France) beat Bojana Bobusic (Australia) 2-6 6-3 6-1

Sabine Lisicki (Germany) beat Lucie Safarova (Czech Republic) 6-2 6-4

4-Angelique Kerber (Germany) beat Anna Tatishvili (Georgia) 6-2 4-6 6-2

Sofia Arvidsson (Sweden) beat 7-Samantha Stosur (Australia) 7-6(4) 7-5

Auckland Classic

Simona Halep (Romania) beat Arantxa Rus (Netherlands) 4-6 6-3 6-1

3-Yanina Wickmayer (Belgium) beat Magdalena Rybarikova (Slovakia) 7-6(3) 6-2

Johanna Larsson (Sweden) beat Misaki Doi (Japan) 4-6 6-3 6-2

Kirsten Flipkens (Belgium) beat Galina Voskoboeva (Kazakhstan) 6-1 6-7(2) 7-5

Kiki Bertens (Netherlands) beat Svetlana Kuznetsova (Russia) 6-7(5) 6-2 7-5

Eleni Daniilidou (Greece) beat Coco Vandeweghe (US) 1-6 7-6(5) 6-4

Elena Vesnina (Russia) beat Eugenie Bouchard (Canada) 7-5 6-3

Pauline Parmentier (France) beat 7-Christina Mchale (US) 6-4 6-1

Shenzen Open

Stefanie Voegele (Switzerland) beat Timea Babos (Hungary) 6-4 7-5

2-Marion Bartoli (France) beat Venise Chan (Hong Kong) 6-1 6-0

Julia Cohen (US) beat Nina Bratchikova (Russia) 0-6 7-6(7) 7-5

Chang Kai-Chen (Taiwan) beat Silvia Soler Espinosa (Spain) 4-6 6-1 6-3

6-Peng Shuai (China) beat Anne Keothavong (Britain) 6-4 6-0

Ayumi Morita (Japan) beat Chan Yung-Jan (Taiwan) 6-4 6-4

Elina Svitolina (Ukraine) beat Shahar Peer (Israel) 6-1 6-3

7-Bojana Jovanovski (Serbia) beat Alexandra Cadantu (Romania) 6-3 6-1

5-Klara Zakopalova (Czech Republic) beat Andrea Hlavackova (Czech Republic) 6-1 6-1

Duan Yingying (China) beat Kimiko Date-Krumm (Japan) 7-6(5) 7-5

View comments (17)