MELBOURNE, Australia - Twenty-four hours after Samantha Stosur's exit, home hopes at the Australian Open suffered another setback when Ashleigh Barty and Casey Dellacqua were bundled out in the second round of the doubles.
Last year, Barty and Dellacqua finished runners-up at three of the four majors, including at Melbourne Park. However, Timea Babos and Petra Martic put paid to their hopes of going one better this time round, knocking out the No.5 seeds, 61 63.
After suffering a torn adductor a few weeks ago, it was touch and go whether Barty would even compete in Melbourne. The 17-year-old struggled on serve throughout, and neither she nor her partner found any way to stem the stream of winners coming from the other end.
Babos and Martic's reward for the 59-minute masterclass is a meeting with another Australian, Jarmila Gajdosova, and her partner, Ajla Tomljanovic, who defeated Annika Beck and Andrea Petkovic, 64 62.
Gajdosova's progress was not the only bright note for the home nation either. Wildcards Monique Adamczak and Olivia Rogowska caused a minor shock when they knocked out No.14 seeds Julia Goerges and Barbora Zahlavova Strycova.
Also safely into the third round were No.6 seeds Cara Black and Sania Mirza, who beat Monica Niculescu and Klara Zakopalova, 75 61, and No.7 seeds Andrea Hlavackova and Lucie Safarova, who brushed aside Anabel Medina Garrigues and Yaroslava Shvedova, 62 62.