Australian Open sees first former Slam champion out on day one
Australian Open 2020 champion Sofia Kenin has become the first Major winner to exit the 2022 event after day one of the men’s and women’s singles draws.
The American 11th seed came up against her compatriot 26-year-old Madison Keys in the first round.
While Keys is currently ranked just outside the top 50 at 51st in the world, she has strong pedigree, having reach the 2017 US Open final and peaking at world number seven in October 2016.
While Kenin was by no means out of sorts, Keys was too strong for the former world number four as the tie ended 7-6 (7-2), 7-5 in her favour.
The loss confirms Kenin’s worst Slam result for nearly four years, since the 2018 French Open, the last time she went out in the opening round of a Major.
Since reaching the 2020 Roland Garros final, Kenin has struggled for form and with fitness. The 23-year-old has played just 25 matches in the 15 months since that event, accumulating a record of 13-12 in that time.
The Australian Open women’s singles began with a field containing 14 Slam champions, or just under one in nine players.
Among those 14 are six multi-Slam champions in world number one Ashleigh Barty (two Major titles), defending champion Naomi Osaka (four Major titles), Angelique Kerber (three Major titles), Victoria Azarenka (two Major titles), Simona Halep (two Major titles) and Garbine Muguruza (two Major titles).
That field 14 is now down to 13 with the exit of Kenin, plus with Major winners Halep, Sloan Stephens, Emma Raducanu, Muguruza, Iga Swiatek, Petra Kvitova, Sam Stosur and Kerber all yet to play their first round matches.
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