Sports

Belinda Bencic upsets Venus Williams in first round at Australian Open

Belinda Bencic upsets Venus Williams in first round at Australian Open

Bencic has won 31 of 35 matches across all levels including Hopman Cup for Switzerland where she partnered Roger Federer, whose parents, Robert and Lynette, were spotted in her Player's Box.

It's the first time since 1997, the Australian Open will not feature either of the Williams sisters in the second round, after Serena withdrew from the tournament at the beginning of the month following her recent pregnancy.

TOURNAMENT SUMMARY: French Open champion Jelena Ostapenko survived a day of upsets in the women's draw to safely advance to the second round alongside Australian wildcard Olivia Rogowska, while the men's event also featured some first-day boilovers. She looked to be on course for an easy win over China's Zhang Shuai, breezing through the first set, she went to serve for the match at 5-4 in the second but ultimately extended her 8-match losing streak since the Us Open triumph as she lost 2-6, 7-6 (7-2), 6-2 on Margaret Court Arena.

It always shaped as a tough opener for Stephens, who hasn't won a tour-level match since her Grand Slam breakthrough triumph at the U.S. Open previous year and facing a player ranked No. 34, two spots off being seeded for the first major of the season.

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"She played above and beyond", a disappointed Williams told Xinhua after the match.

Vandeweghe only converted one of 10 break points in the match and hit 28 unforced errors to 18 for her opponent. After receiving a first-round bye last week at Sydney, she fell to eventual champion Angelique Kerber of Germany in three sets.

"Oh, honestly, the first reaction from everyone was "oh bad luck", the 20-year-old said. "That feels great. I saw him after the match. he was very happy for me".

Simona Halep is the No. 1 seed in the women's draw, and one of six women who can hold the No. 1 ranking at the end of the Australian Open. After already saving five break points at 4-3, Bencic returned from an nearly 30-minute suspension to win six consecutive points to take the first set. "When I was a little girl watching on TV I would never imagine I would play them (the Williams)". Williams, however, resurged after a brief washroom break and broke Bencic's opening service game.


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