Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Wozniacki, Zvonareva and Stosur all out of Sydney

World number 1 and top seed Caroline Wozniacki played her first round in Sydney yesterday, and lost to Dominika Cibulkova. Cibulkova's 6-3, 6-3 victory follows the unseeded Slovak's 6-3, 6-3 win over Maria Kirilenko.

Wozniacki played in the Hong Kong Classic prior to arriving in Sydney; the Hong Kong Classic is a world team exhibition event and not part of the tour. This year, team Russia defended its title, and Vera Zvonareva defeated Wozniacki 6-1, 6-0 in that event.

Exhibition matches are generally not taken too seriously, but the Hong Kong Classic is, like the Hopman Cup tournament, a significant team event. And Wozniacki's two straight-set losses in a row make her look a bit vulnerable.

Zvonareva, seeded 2nd in Sydney, also went out yesterday, in the second round (also her first round). She was defeated 7-5, 7-5 by Flavia Pennetta. 4th seed Sam Stosur was defeated 3-6, 6-3, 6-4 by Svetlana Kuznetsova; Stosur had a second round loss to Jarmila Groth in Brisbane. 3rd seed Kim Clijsters advanced to the third round.

Of note in the Medibank International is the young Serb, Bojana Jovanovski, who defeated Kaia Kanepi in the first round, and Aravane Rezai (7-6, 7-6) in the second. Her next opponent will be Pennetta.

Play in Hobart has been hampered by rain. Top seed Marion Bartoli, who lost only one game to Dinara Safina in the first round, will play Elena Vesnina in the second round.