Australian Open 20185: Venus Williams, Sloane Stephens crash out in 1st round

Serving could be the key factor for Williams in this encounter

In a major upset, fifth seed Venus Williams, who has seven grand slams in her kitty suffered a defeat at the hands of the world no 78 Belinda Bencic of Switzerland in straight sets.

No. 5 Williams was one of three USA women's seed to go down, followed by U.S. Open victor Sloane Stephens (13th) and No. 10 CoCo Vandegweghe. "I don't think I played a bad match".

The US Open semi-final spots were all taken by American players in NY but after 10th seed Vandeweghe, coached by Australian Pat Cash, lost to fellow big-hitter Timea Babos 6-7 (4) 2-6 in one hour and 46 minutes, only one remains - Madison Keys. "I tried to do that today".

The result did not emit too many shockwaves, except that it is highly unusual for the Open to be a sister-free zone nearly before it has started, especially given that they both made it all the way to the final past year. I don't have to make myself uncomfortable because [the tournament is] 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.

"I'm not going to get too down", said Stephens after her 2-6, 7-6 (7/2), 6-2 defeat.

"Tennis is definitely a roller coaster", said the 13th-seeded Stephens, who was broken while serving for the match in 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".

The 20-year-old came into the tournament in great form and knocked out last year's runner-up Venus Williams 6-3 7-5.

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The 2009 champion's bid for a second Australian Open title and 17th Grand Slam win will continue with a step up in class against 52nd-ranked Argentine Leonardo Mayer, who gave him a four-set test in the US Open second round on the way to winning the trophy.

CoCo Vandeweghe went out next as things really started to go insane for the US women, who eventually lost nine out of 10 first-round matches on a bleak opening day of the Australian Open. I started the match very, very well.

The world number five struggled to find her rhythm in the rain-interrupted first round match up, dropping the first set to Bencic, 6-3. "But I have learned to just not panic. Just didn't work out".

Kaia Kanepi defeated 24th seed Dominika Cibulkova, a former finalist in Melbourne, in comprehensive fashion 6-2 6-2 to set up a match with Monica Puig - who ended the campaign of home favourite Sam Stosur. That he's trying to give advice and help also someone like me.

Ryan Harrison beat Dudi Sela in a sometimes heated five-setter in front of a partisan crowd and qualifier Mackenzie McDonald also bucked the trend for the Americans.

Australian Open 2018 When is it on?

Second seed Caroline Wozniacki got away to a winning start, beating Romanian Mihaela Buzarnescu, 6-2, 6-3.

French Open champion Jelena Ostapenko needed a second-set comeback to progress past veteran world No 93 Francesca Schiavone and earn a second-round encounter with Ying-Ying Duan.

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