Australian Open: Venus Williams' stoic exit; upsets dot play



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Australian Open: Venus Williams' stoic exit; upsets dot play

There were a few notable upsets in the women’s singles draw in the morning session at the Australian Open on Wednesday. This included two top-10 seeds – the sixth seed Bianca Andreescu and the ninth seed Petra Kvitova.

Su-Wei Hsieh scored the first win – and the first upset – of the day by ousting Andreescu 6-3, 6-2 in an hour and 23 minutes. Hsieh’s game proved too tricky for Andreescu who hit 25 unforced errors during the course of the match.

The 2019 US Open also hit 20 winners. On the other hand, Hsieh had 16 winners and 14 unforced errors.

Australian Open: The road ends for Venus Williams

In the third round, Hsieh awaits Sara Errani. The Italian qualifier defeated two-time former Australian Open champion Venus Williams 6-1, 6-0.

Errani came firing off the blocks racing away to a quick 4-0 lead in the opening set. On the other side of the net, Williams looked completely out of sorts as she struggled physically, with a tape on her left knee. Down 1-5 in the set, Williams compounded her physical woes further as she twisted her right ankle while trying to retrieve a shot at the net.

During the medical time-out to treat her ankle, the 40-year-old was in tears, seemingly contemplating whether to continue with the match or to throw in the towel. When play resumed, Williams half-limped and half-walked between points even as Errani showed no mercy to her beleaguered opponent.

When play resumed for the second set, Williams had composed herself and her game felt marginally better than in the first set. But while winners poured forth from her racquet, errors, too, came by with equal speed if not more.

She did have three breakpoints to break back Errani in the third game of the second set but couldn’t convert any. In the sixth game of the set, Williams kept up the pressure on the former French Open finalist by saving two match points but her efforts were little too late as Errani won the match on her third match point.

Romania’s Sorana Cirstea ousted Kvitova in their round-of-64 meeting, 6-4, 1-6, 6-4. While both players struggled to make the most out of their serves – Cirstea won 55% points off her first serves to Kvitova’s 54% and both won an identical 38% points off their second serves – the Czech’s game was particularly error-filled.

She hit 44 unforced errors to Cirstea’s 30, which cost her the match despite having a better margin in terms of winners – 21 to 17. Cirstea will take on Kvitova’s fellow Czech, 19th seed Marketa Vondrousova in the third round.

Vondrousova defeated Rebecca Marino in the second round, 6-1, 7-5. France’s Fiona Ferro upset 17th seed Elena Rybakina in their second-round meeting. Ferro won in straight sets 6-4, 6-4, and now awaits the winner of the clash between Iga Swiatek and Camila Giorgi.

Aryna Sabalenka moved into the third round with a straight-sets win over Daria Kasatkina. The seventh seed won 7-6(5), 6-3 and will take on Ann Li in the following round. Li got past Alize Cornet 6-2, 7-6(6). Anastasia Potapova advanced to the third round, as well.

The Russian defeated Hungarian qualifier Timea Babos 6-2, 6-4 to set up a round-of-32 clash against Serena Williams. Ons Jabeur beat Anna Karolina Schmiedlova to move into the next round. The 27th seed from Tunisia won in straight sets 6-3, 6-2.

She awaits either Carolina Garcia or Naomi Osaka. Defending Australian Open finalist Garbine Muguruza had yet another easy outing. The Spaniard defeated Russian qualifier Liudmila Samsonova 6-3, 6-1 in their second-round clash. Next up for the 14th seed is Zarina Diyas, who ousted Bernarda Pera 6-4, 3-6, 6-3.