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