US Open champion Stephens bundled out in Sydney

SYDNEY (Reuters) – U.S. Open champion Sloane Stephens’ preparations for a Australian Open strike a speed strike on Monday when she was bundled out of a Sydney International initial turn by Italy’s Camila Giorgi.

Stephens, who has not played given a Fed Cup final in November, looked rusty opposite a big-hitting Giorgi and done 35 spontaneous errors as she mislaid 6-3 6-0 to a 26-year-old in only over an hour.

World series 13 Stephens has not won a compare given violence Madison Keys in a final during Flushing Meadows in September.

She mislaid both singles encounters in a Fed Cup opposite Belarus, mislaid twice in a WTA Elite Trophy eventuality in Wuhai and suffered first-round waste in dual tournaments in China.

“I lerned in Italy, my home, and felt so really good. we did 6 weeks of preparation. It was great. Very good,” pronounced Giorgi, who missed a behind finish of final deteriorate with an bend injury.

“I done a few errors during a start though afterwards we played my diversion and it was good after that.”

Giorgi will subsequent accommodate twice Wimbledon champion Petra Kvitova, who went by when final year’s warn Australian Open semi-finalist Mirjana Lucic-Baroni late after losing a initial set 6-1.

Another former grand impact champion also progressed with Germany’s 2016 Melbourne Park pretension leader Angelique Kerber saving dual compare points to exist Lucie Safarova 6-7(3) 7-6 (8) 6-2.

Kerber’s feat sends her into a second turn strife with mixed grand impact champion Venus Williams.

Slovakian hustler Dominika Cibulkova also reached a final 16 with a quickfire 6-3 6-1 dispersion of eighth seeded Latvian Anastasija Sevastova.

Sydney’s continue continued to wreak massacre with Sunday’s impassioned feverishness transposed by storms with hail, lightning and sleet all crude a Kerber-Safarova clash.

The Australian Open, a opening grand impact of a year, runs from Jan. 15-28.

Reporting by Greg Stutchbury in Wellington and Nick Mulvenney in Sydney; Editing by Peter Rutherford/Amlan Chakraborty

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