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Upsets on Day 1 at the Australian Open

Last updated on: January 18, 2016 19:56 IST

Rediff.com takes stock of the seeded casualties on the first day of the Australian Open.

Sloane Stephens

IMAGE: The USA’s Sloane Stephens reacts during her first round match against China’s Qiang Wang. Photograph: Mark Kolbe/Getty Images

It was a bad day at the office for Sloane Stephens but an unforgettable one for Chinese qualifier Wang Qiang, who sent the former semi-finalist spinning out of the Australian Open with a stinging first-round defeat on Monday.

American Stephens entered the tournament seeded 24th after enjoying a confidence boost from winning her second WTA title at Auckland in the lead-up but racked up 36 unforced errors in a meek 6-3 6-3 capitulation at Hisense Arena.

China has longed for a new force in women's tennis following the retirement of two-time Grand Sslam champion Li Na in 2014 and 102nd-ranked Wang's victory offered an encouraging glimpse of the next generation's potential.

Caroline Wozniacki

IMAGE: A physio attends to Denmark’s Caroline Wozniacki during her first round match against Kazakhstan’s Yulia Putintseva. Photograph: Michael Dodge/Getty Images

Kazakhstan's Yulia Putintseva pulled off the first big upset at the Open, defeating former world No 1 Caroline Wozniacki. 

Putintseva won a marathon second set to beat the Dane 1-6, 7-6, 6-4 at Hisense Arena, and advance to the second round. 

This is the first time the 16th seed was ousted in the first round of the Australian Open.

Samantha Stosur

IMAGE: Australia’s Samantha Stosur looks dejected. Photograph: Quinn Rooney/Getty Images

Aussie Samantha Stosur's woes continued when she was beaten 6-4, 7-6 (6) by Czech Republic’s qualifier Kristyna Pliskova.

Stosur has never advanced past the fourth round at the Australian Open.

Noah Rubin

IMAGE: The USA’s Noah Rubin celebrates victory against France’s Benoit Paire. Photograph: Darrian Traynor/Getty Images

Wild-card entry Noah Rubin got the biggest win of his career, upsetting 17th-seeded Benoit Paire of France 7-6(4), 7-6(6), 7-6(5) for his first Grand Slam victory.

Paire had 61 winners compared to just 22 for the 19-year-old, but also 72 unforced errors.

Russia’s Elizaveta Kulichkova (Russia) defeated 22-seeded Andrea Petkovic of Germany 7-5, 6-4.

Croatia’s Ivo Karlovic retired against Argentina’s  Federico Delbonis when the score read 7-6(4), 6-4, 2-1.

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