Australian Open Day 1: Venus highlights first day tumblings

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World number five Venus Williams and US Open champion Sloane Stephens were high-profile casualties on day one of the Australian Open Monday, but Roland Garros victor Jelena Ostapenko survived.

The 20-year-old impressed under the roof at the Rod Laver Arena in Melbourne, when wrapping up the match 6-3, 7-5, to send Williams packing. Stephens was also forced to withdraw from the Brisbane International because of a right knee injury.

This year, when she drew Venus in the first round, a lot of people sympathised with her for her "bad luck".

"I started to miss more in the second set but I found my game".

Fifth seed Williams reached the Wimbledon final and US Open semi-final in 2017 but was seen struggling throughout the match. "I tried to do that today".

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The low point came when Vandeweghe was hit with a code violation for taking too long to return to the court because she had yet to finish eating a banana, which she claimed had not been provided on time at the change of ends. I don't have to make myself uncomfortable because it's ill-prepared.

Stephens was the first American to falter, losing 2-6, 7-6 (2), 6-2 to No. 34-ranked Zhang Shuai to extend her losing streak since the U.S. Open to eight matches. That resulted in a point penalty to start the second set.

"Obviously, it wasn't my wasn't some of the American women's day but I guess that it happens and that's tennis".

Vandeweghe fought with umpire Fergus Murphy at the end of the first set after he called time and she remained in her chair to wait for a banana to be delivered.

Williams had won all four of her previous meetings with 20-year-old Bencic, but the world No 5 could not match her opponent's consistent ball-striking. 'I don't think I played a bad match. It's impossible', said Venus, who is committed to play Acapulco in one month and a half next.

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The 2018 Australian Open proved to be an American nightmare on Day 1 as the Top 3 USA seeds exited Melbourne, some in ugly fashion. "It's nice that it's going, but I'm just focusing from one round to the other and trying to put my performance there and trying to improve with every match I'm playing". I'm just having fun.

Pre-tournament favourites Caroline Wozniacki and Elina Svitolina both stormed to comprehensive first-round victories against Mihaela Buzarnescu and Ivana Jorovic respectively.

A total 12 out of 15 American women and men in action lost on Day 1 at the Australian Open.

Stephens, who suffered a torrid denouement to the tennis calendar a year ago, remains without a win since her surprise triumph at Flushing Meadows and despite an encouraging start, she fell to a 2-6 7-6 (4) 6-2.

French Open champion Jelena Ostapenko started with a 6-1, 6-4 win over 37-year-old Francesca Schiavone, the 2010 French Open victor.

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