Mon, Jan 01, 2018 - Page 10 News List

Stosur falls in first round as Murray prepares for return

AP, BRISBANE, Australia

Anastasija Sevastova returns against Samantha Stosur yesterday during the first round of the Brisbane International tournament in Brisbane, Australia.

Photo: AFP

Australian Samantha Stosur’s year ended on a sour note yesterday after she was bundled out of her home state tournament by Brisbane International seventh seed Anastasija Sevastova.

The former US Open champion and French Open finalist had opportunities against her 27-year-old Latvian opponent in the first set, but was completely outplayed by Sevastova in the second set to be eliminated 6-1, 6-3 in the first round.

It was not a good day for world No. 8 Caroline Garcia either, after she retired in her first-round match against French compatriot Alize Cornet.

The fourth seed started brightly to take the first set 6-3, but Cornet rallied to claim the second and force a deciding set.

Garcia then took an injury timeout for treatment on her lower back and played just one point in the final set before retiring.

Cornet will next play Croatian Mirjana Lucic-Baroni in the second round.

Serbian Aleksandra Krunic beat Carinna Witthhoeft of Germany 7-5, 7-6 (7-2) to set up a second-round clash with Spanish top seed Garbine Murguruza.

In the men’s draw, Alexandr Dolgopolov of Ukraine beat sixth seed Diego Schwartzman of Argentina 6-4, 7-6 (7-3).

Meanwhile, former world No. 1 Andy Murray continued his return from a hip injury with a practice session in Brisbane as he prepares for his first competitive match since July. That comeback match will against be either American Ryan Harrison or Leonardo Mayer of Argentina in the second round either tomorrow or on Wednesday.

“I just want to enjoy playing again, I really missed it,” Murray said. “I want to play tennis... I don’t mind if it’s 30 in the world level — I’d love it to be No. 1 in the world level — I just want to play. When that’s taken away from you, you realize how important it is.”

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