The Apia International in Sydney continued to be a graveyard for some of the top names in women’s tennis yesterday, with champion and top seed Agnieszka Radwanska and former world No. 1 Caroline Wozniacki both losing in the second round.
However, men’s champion Bernard Tomic followed up the exploits of fellow Australian Marko Matosevic, who earlier beat Florian Mayer 6-2, 4-6, 6-3, to demolish eighth seed Marcel Granollers 6-3, 6-0 in just under an hour.
Radwanska and Wozniacki followed Grand Slam champions Svetlana Kuznetsova and Francesca Schiavone, and former world No. 1 Jelena Jankvoic as early evictees from the tournament.
Radwanska’s title defense lasted just 92 minutes when she was dumped out 7-5, 6-2 by qualifier Bethanie Mattek-Sands of the US, while Wozniacki, who struggled in her first-round match on Monday, was beaten 6-4, 7-6 (9-7) by Lucie Safarova of the Czech Republic.
World No. 5 Radwanska won the Sydney title last year as part of a 13-match unbeaten streak that ended in the Australian Open quarter-finals said she was not overly concerned with her early loss.
“I really had a lot of good matches last week,” the 24-year-old Pole said, referring to winning all three matches at the Hopman Cup in Perth last week. “It’s not like I’m playing bad. I’m not worried about that.”
Mattek-Sands next faces fellow American Madison Keys in the quarter-finals.
Former Wimbledon champion Petra Kvitova faces Safarova in the quarter-finals after the second seed thrashed qualifier Christina McHale of the US 6-1, 6-0 in a little over an hour.
Wozniacki, who missed the Brisbane tournament last week with a sore shoulder, said she was feeling fine yesterday, but had failed to win the crucial points in the clash against Safarova.
“I felt like it was pretty good today. It was small things that I didn’t win,” the Dane said. “I don’t feel anything in my shoulder anymore. It’s great. I’ve felt good for the last few days.”
Spain’s David Ferrer was given a traditional Maori welcome at the Auckland Open yesterday in recognition of his contribution to the tournament, while Taiwan’s Lu Yen-hsun safely negotiated his first-round match.
Ferrer is making his 10th appearance at the tournament, having won four titles, including the last three in succession.
“Thank you very much for everything,” the world No. 3 told the packed crowd at the Auckland Tennis Centre after being presented with a manaia (Maori carving).
Ferrer meets qualifier Donald Young in the second round today after the American beat Argentina’s Federico Delbonis 7-5, 6-2.
Lu defeated Igor Sijsling of the Netherlands 7-5, 7-6 (9/7), while former champion Philipp Kohlschreiber also advanced to the second round with a tough 6-2, 3-6, 7-5 victory over Spain’s Pablo Carreno Busta.
At the Hobart International, Australian teenager and wild-card Storm Sanders beat China’s Peng Shuai, ranked nearly 200 places ahead of her, 6-2, 6-2.
Alison Riske of the US beat Australian Casey Dellacqua 7-5, 4-6, 6-3, while defending champion Elena Vesnina of Russia advanced with a 6-4, 6-4 win over Monica Puig of Puerto Rico.
In the first round of the doubles, Japanese duo Shuko Aoyama and Miki Miyamura rallied to knock out Taiwan’s Chuang Chia-jung and Eva Hrdinova of the Czech Republic 3-6, 6-3, 10-7.
There was better news in the quarter-finals, though, as fourth seeds Chan Yung-jan of Taiwan and Janette Husarova of Slovakia defeated Spain’s Lourdes Dominguez Lino and Mariana Duque-Marino of Colombia 7-6 (7/2), 2-6, 10-8.
Additional reporting by staff writer