Stosur Joins Schiavone On Sidelines
Published June 22, 2010 12:00
LONDON, England - For the first time in the Open Era, neither French Open finalist survived the first round of Wimbledon. Francesca Schiavone, who won her first Grand Slam title on the terre battue, succumbed on Monday; and Samantha Stosur, who lost to Schiavone in that final, lost Tuesday.
Stosur, the No.6 seed, looked good on the grass of Eastbourne last week, making it to the semifinals; but she had never been beyond the third round of Wimbledon, and this time she would fall even earlier. Kaia Kanepi had won three rounds of qualifying and carried that momentum into the main draw, picking off Stosur in straight sets in their first career meeting, 64 64.
"I didn't play as well as I know I can, but she played well. She served very well," Stosur said. "It has definitely been a long few months in Europe. But that's all part and parcel with doing well. I'm disappointed, there's no other way to say it. I wanted to do a lot better here than I had in previous years. But I'll come back."
Kanepi's victory wasn't exactly a huge surprise, given she was ranked in the world's Top 20 as recently as last year: "She's a quality opponent," Stosur added. "She has been ranked a lot higher than what she is. For whatever reason, she slipped back. She has definitely played a lot of matches recently as well. She qualified at the French. It wasn't an easy first round, by any means."
The other Top 16 seeds in action were all able to move through, led by No.1 seed Serena Williams, who beat Michelle Larcher de Brito, 60 64; No.3 seed Caroline Wozniacki, who cruised past Tathiana Garbin for the second straight major in straight sets, 61 61; and No.7 seed Agnieszka Radwanska, who had a 63 63 win over Melinda Czink. No.9 seed Li Na, No.10 seed Flavia Pennetta and No.14 seed Victoria Azarenka also won in straight sets.
"The draw changed a little bit. I was expecting to play someone else, but I had never played either, so the goal going out there today was to figure things out as quickly as possible," Sharapova said. "I did a good job of that."
In the only other upset of the day, Dominika Cibulkova beat No.25 seed Lucie Safarova, 76(5) 64. And in the last match of the day, No.24 seed Daniela Hantuchova rallied from 4-1 down in the second set to even her match with Vania King at a set apiece, 67(4) 76(4), when it was called for darkness.