Stosur, Wozniacki knocked out early in Brisbane
Former World No 1 Caroline Wozniacki lost valuable Australian Open match practice when she lost to Kazakhstan qualifier Ksenia Pervak.
In a titanic battle lasting 2hrs 48mins, left-handed Pervak eased past Wozniacki 2-6, 6-3, 7-6 (7/1) in the first shock of the season-opening WTA tournament.
Eighth-seeded Wozniacki had looked in control as she reeled off the first set in just 29 minutes. But the Russian-born Pervak found her range in the second set and had the Dane constantly under pressure with her swinging left-handed groundstrokes.
She won the set to level the match then stunned Wozniacki in the deciding set with an all-out attack. Wozniacki will play in Sydney next week in a last-ditch bid to find some form ahead of the January 14-27 Australian Open in Melbourne.
Meanwhile, former US Open champion Samantha Stosur’s miserable Australian form continued yesterday when she was knocked out of the first round of the Brisbane International by Sweden’s Sofia Arvidsson.
Arvidsson took full advantage of 48 unforced errors from the Australian number one to win 7-6 (7/4), 7-5 on Pat Rafter Arena. Stosur, who grew up on the nearby Gold Coast, has struggled to live up to expectations when playing in her home tournament and has not made it past the second round in four attempts.
Meanwhile, Richard Gasquet, the world top ten’s biggest enigma, is seeking a platform during the next six days for the Grand Slam success that his undoubted ability warrants in the new season which starts here on Monday. “I want to play better in Grand Slams. I did fourth rounds this year, so I'm sure I can do better again,” said Gasquet from Doha.