Sports

Venus Williams crashes out in round 1 of the Australian Open

Venus Williams crashes out in round 1 of the Australian Open

U.S. Open finalist Keven Anderson became the first seed to lose on the men's side.

No 5 seed Williams lost 6-3 7-5 to in-form Belinda Bencic and was one of THREE semi-finalist from the women's singles of the last Grand Slam, in NY, to go out in the opening session.

Belinda Bencic sent Venus Williams packing in straight sets.

The defeat leaves the Williams family out of the second round of the for the first time since 1997, since Serena Williams, Venus' sister is not participating in the tournament.

The seventh-seeded Ostapenko is playing her third Australian Open - she advanced to the third round at Melbourne Park previous year.

"I was happy when I heard they wanted to watch", said 20-year-old Bencic, a one-time world No 7 on the comeback trail from injury. "She just played above and beyond", said Venus Williams, who was playing her 18th Australian Open.

"I'm not going to get too down", she said after her 2-6, 7-6 (7/2), 6-2 defeat. "I just enjoy every match and show my best". Williams had 26 unforced errors and 22 winners.

Federer's parents are used to seeing wins and Bencic did not disappoint, playing the 37-year-old American to perfection. "I would like to have played someone easier". The 2018 Australian Open proved to be an American nightmare on Day 1 as the Top 3 US seeds exited Melbourne, some in ugly fashion.

The 20-year-old Bencic saved five break points in the eighth game before a rain delay caused an nearly half-hour suspension of play as the roof was closed on Rod Laver Arena.

"Happy for the start, of course", Nadal, who lost last year's final in a five-set classic to Roger Federer, told reporters.

Last year's semifinalist Coco Vandeweghe also went out, beaten 7-6 (4) 6-2 by Hungary's Timea Babos.

The 2009 champion's bid for a second Australian Open title and 17th Grand Slam win will continue with a step up in class against 52nd-ranked Argentine Leonardo Mayer, who gave him a four-set test in the US Open second round on the way to winning the trophy. "Just give me a little bit to regroup and we will be okay". "It will be OK".

Venus was looking much more aggressive in the second set, earning herself two more break point chances.

The Swiss continued to press, however, breaking once more to clinch the set and pegging Williams back twice at the start of the second.

The Florida-based South African fell to Kyle Edmund - the lone British man in the draw in the absence of the injured Andy Murray - 6-7 (4-7) 6-3 3-6 6-3 6-4. But last year, Williams didn't face an opening-round opponent as tough as Bencic, who was a top-10 player as recently as two years ago (No. 7 in 2016). Stephens served for the match in the 10th game of the second set but dropped her serve.

Both players sat during the 20 minutes it took to close the roof.

"It's a new situation for me". As for the banana, she added: "I was just trying to wait for what I asked for to come and the chair umpire deemed that it wasn't a good enough reason to wait for anything".

It was a stunning turn-around from last year's US Open when the host nation provided all four women's semi-finalists - Stephens, Madison Keys, Venus Williams and Vandeweghe - the first time that had happened in 36 years.

There was better luck for French Open champion Jelena Ostapenko, who saw off Francesca Schiavone 6-1, 6-4.


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