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Seeds tumble on day one at Medibank International

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Originally published on: 26/02/10 11:52

Dropping like flies on day one, a number of the top names in womens tennis were flummoxed by more lowly opposition at the Medibank International on Monday.

Fourth seed Caroline Wozniacki, former world No.1 Jelena Jankovic and Aussie No.1 Sam Stosur were all dumped out in the first round in Sydney; hardly the ideal preparation for the big guns ahead of the start of the Australian Open in seven days time.

Wozniacki failed to see through her early advantage before succumbing 2-6, 6-3, 6-2 to 27-year-old Li Na of ChIna, while Jankovic also lost despite taking the first set, going down 5-7, 6-1, 7-5 to qualifier and world No.40 Agnes Szavay.

In fairness to Brisbane-born Stosur, her straight sets 6-3, 6-1 defeat came at the hands of world No.12 Flavia Pennetta, ranked one place above her, but the 25-year-old was far from her best.

Regardless of their defeats, Jankovic – a former semi-finalist in Melbourne – and world No.4 Wozniacki were not overly perturbed by their defeats.

It just didnt go my way today, said Wozniacki. Thats the way it is sometimes.

“Next week is very important to me and hopefully I can do a great result there.

Jankovic was similarly unfazed. Its no problem. I have a week to train and to do some things, the Serb said.

Playing in these kind of conditions, it still gives me some experience. I will bring that to Melbourne.”

With the seeds falling away, a clear route to the Sydney final has opened up for defending Aussie Open champion Serena Williams. The world No.1 finds herself free of seeded players in her half of the draw as she looks to clinch victory in her last tournament before beginning the hunt for her fifth Melbourne slam.

There were mixed fortunes for the French in the men’s event, as top seed Gael Monfils was forced to withdraw from the tournament with a shoulder injury that threatens to jeapordise his Australian Open chances.

The world No.12, who reached the semi-finals of the Brisbane International last week, is resting this week in an attempt to avoid a flare-up of tendinitis. “I have had an inflammation since last week and it has been getting worse,” Monfils told reporters.

But the news will be a boost to compatriot Richard Gasquet, who wrapped up an impressive 6-1 6-4 win over Feliciano Lopez as he looks to get his career back on track following the torment of his 2009 season.

In December the Court of Arbitration for Sport cleared the Fremchman of doping after trace amounts of cocaine inadvertently entered his system in Miami earlier in the season.

“It’s a different year. What I know is I won,” Gasquet said. “I improve my level match after match. Day after day I’m playing better and better. That’s the most important for me.”

In other results, former Australian Open finalist Marcos Baghdatis saw off Australian youngster Nick Lindahl 6-2 7-5 and awaits Serbian No.6 seed Viktor Troicki or Florent Serra in the second round.

But No.7 seed Igor Andreev crashed out to Argentine qualifier Leonardo Mayer 6-7(7) 6-3 7-6(4).

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