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Flipkens Shocks Stosur In First Round

Samantha Stosur and Sara Errani suffered shock first round defeats at the UNICEF Open on Monday.

Published June 18, 2012 04:47

Flipkens Shocks Stosur In First Round
Kirsten Flipkens

'S-HERTOGENBOSCH, Netherlands - The switch from clay to grass is never an easy one, with low bounces, fast points and temperamental weather conditions making early round upsets an occupational hazard for seeds at any of the pre-Wimbledon tune up events.

Samantha Stosur found this out to her cost on Monday when she became the first major casualty at the UNICEF Open, losing to Belgian qualifier Kirsten Flipkens.

Despite playing her first match on grass after a long clay court season, No.1 seed Stosur settled quickly against a clearly nervous Flipkens. She could not capitalize on this early advantage, though, frittering away a 4-1 lead and four set points before dropping the opener on a tie-break.

Flipkens has been plagued by injuries of late and entered the match without a main draw WTA win to her name for exactly 12 months. However, she showed no sign of nerves out on Centre Court in the second, capturing an early break before serving it out for a 76(7) 63 win - her first over a Top 10 player.

"I think I needed to be 200% to win against her because she's a Top 5 player," Flipkens said. "This is by far my best result ever and it's all the more enjoyable after the wrist injury and other health problems I've had in the last year.

"In the beginning I wasn't feeling totally confident and fell behind. But once I started to feel comfortable I began to enjoy myself and at the end I was playing really well."

Flipkens was not the only player to upset the form book in 's-Hertogenbosch; Kateryna Bondarenko came from a set down to shock recent French Open finalist and Sara Errani, 57 63 64, while Francesca Schiavone battled back from 5-3 and a match point down to defeat No.5 seed Maria Kirilenko, 64 36 75.

"It was really tough and I think I served well and mixed it up for most of the match," Schiavone said. "The third set was tight and she had chances but I think I was just a little bit more courageous in the end, which made the difference."

The top half seeds fared far better on Monday, with straight set wins for Dominika Cibulkova, Roberta Vinci and Nadia Petrova. No.3 seed Cibulkova was the most impressive, transferring the form which took her to the quarterfinals on the Parisian clay to the grass with a 62 62 victory over Alexandra Cadantu.

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