Wuhan Open: Seeds sent tumbling out

Published by Bastien Thorne

Sloane Stephens lasted just 69 minutes in her first tournament since winning the US Open. Photo: Getty Images
No fewer than five seeds were sent crashing out on Day Two of the Wuhan Open, with Sloane Stephens arguably the biggest casualty so far.

It might only be Day Two of the Wuhan Open, but the tournament has already lost a raft of its biggest stars. On a disastrous day for seeded players, Johanna Konta [5], Madison Keys [10], Petra Kvitova [11], Angelique Kerber [12] and Sloane Stephens [14] were all sent packing.

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Keys was the first to go. The American, who has been struggling with a wrist injury since her US Open exploits, was beaten in straight sets by qualifier Varvara Lepchenko 6-2 7-6(4).

US Open champion Sloane Stephens was next on court in what was the surprise of the day. After taking a number of weeks away from the game, Stephens was easily dispatched by world No.55 Qiang Wang 6-2 6-2 in just 69 minutes.

Former world No.1 Angelique Kerber was next on to the Centre Court, and the next seed to leave. Kerber was always in for a tough opening match against Caroline Garcia, but given her recent return to form she was expected to win. She didn’t. Garcia got the better of the German in a topsy turvey match, eventually winning 3-6 6-3 6-1.

Johanna Konta has struggled for form of late, and it showed as she was beaten in a tight match by Australia’s Ash Barty. Barty roared away with the first set, before Konta hit back in the second and the Aussie edged the decider in a tiebreak to take a 6-0 4-6 7-6(3) win.

In what was the match of the day, 11th seed Petra Kvitova was ousted by home favourite Peng Shuai. In a match that swung back and forth over three hours 34 minutes, Shuai grabbed the win 7-6(7) 6-7(5) 7-6(3).

But it wasn’t all bad news for the seeded players, Agnieszka Radwanska picked up a much-needed win against Magdalena Rybarikova. The Pole needed just over two hours to down Rybarikova 6-4 7-5.

In the day’s other results, Tokyo finalist Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova was ousted 6-3 6-2 by Alize Cornet; Wildcard Jil Teichmann was a 6-4 3-6 6-3 winner over Sam Stosur; and Julia Goerges downed Daria Gavrilova 6-4 1-6 6-4.

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