Kvitova, Top Seeds Cruise; Stosur Exits Early at Australian Open
by Staff | January 17th, 2012, 7:22 am

Unless you count the choking Sam Stosur, the story of the continued round one on Tuesday at the Australian Open was the far-away level of the top players compared to even the upper level of the rank and file.
No. 2 seed Petra Kvitova steamrolled the competent Russian Vera Dushevina 6-2, 6-0, and No. 4 Maria Sharapova made a mockery of Argentine veteran Gisela Dulko 6-0, 6-1 in hit, difficult conditions in Melbourne.

“I know how she can play,” said Sharapova of the player who had previously beat her at Wimbledon. “I know the quality that she can produce. Some of her best tennis is on clay. I think that’s when she likes the ball to be kind of a little bit higher. She likes to get you off the court. She has many weapons when you give her that time. I think it was just important not to give her that, what she likes.”

Stosur, on the other hand, was obviously feeling the weight of her best chance to compete for an Australian Open title after winning the 2011 US Open. This month Stosur lost early in two Aussie Open warm-up events, and on Tuesday continued the trend, exiting in her first-round match 7-6(2), 6-3 to Romania’s Sorana Cirstea.

“I think it was one of those matches where I wasn’t taking charge,” Stosur said. “She was playing super aggressive. She would either hit great balls, especially at the start, or could miss by a long way. She hung in there and kept going for it and eventually got better and better. I think she played a very, very good match. You have to give credit where credit’s due. But I still think I didn’t maybe step up.”

In other Top 10 play on Tuesday (7) Vera Zvonareva struggled past Alexandra Dulgheru in three sets, and No. 9 Marion Bartoli bageled Virginie Razzano in the second.

There were no other upsets beside Stosur as the remainder of the seeds in play on Tuesday moved into the second round. Winning in three sets were (14) Sabine Lisicki, (18) Svetlana Kuznetova (bagel in the third), and (29) Nadia Petrova (bagel in the third). Also baking bagels in wins were (21) Ana Ivanovic and (23) Roberta Vinci.

“Yeah, can’t complain,” Ivanovic said. “I mean, first set hardly anything went wrong. I felt I really played well. Yeah, I did lot of good things. Was patient. Got a little bit tough in the second set. But I stepped up when I needed to, came to the net a lot, was really pleased to manage the break on 4-3 and then hold my serve.”

Other notable unseeded winners were Shahar Peer bageling Aussie wildcard Isabella Holland, China’s Zheng Jie humbling American wildcard Madison Keys 2-and-1, Jelena Dokic stunning Anna Chakvetadze 2-and-1, and young American winners Sloane Stephens and qualifier Jamie Hampton easing into the second round in straight sets.

“It was difficult conditions out there,” Dokic said. “It was very windy. Yeah, I think it was worse than yesterday. I was hoping it would be better…Sometimes it’s not pretty in these conditions. But, yeah, I did everything right…But, you know, she’s been also a little bit sick and I don’t think she’s played for six months, even though she had a pretty good week last week.”

Serena Williams was yet to go on for her night match finale as of 7 a.m. EST Tuesday, waiting for a late Lleyton Hewitt match to end.

Matches to watch for Thursday in Melbourne include (5) Li Na vs. Aussie Olivia Rogowska, (11) Kim Clijsters vs. Frenchwoman Stephanie Foretz Gacon, (3) Victoria Azarenka vs. Aussie Casey Dellacqua, (1) Caroline Wozniacki vs. Anna Tatishvili, (10) Francesca Schiavone in an all-Italian vs. Romina Oprandi, and hot-handed German Mona Barthel vs. (32) Petra Cetkovska.

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9 Comments for Kvitova, Top Seeds Cruise; Stosur Exits Early at Australian Open

Kimberly Says:

the stosur exit was just bad, but didn’t we all know it was going to happen?

Skeezerweezer Says:

^ did she always have that muscle built? She looked way to over built for tennis, but haven’t seen much of her play before this. Her body looked very tight throughout the match as a result.

Thangs Says:

Ya, its sad. …she is a good bet on clay..not on hardcourts…but she has won USO.

leo vixen Says:

Poor Sam Stosur, almost feeling as much pressure as Andy Murray to win a major@home; at least she has the USO so the Aussie crowd can be proud of that. Hope she learns to take some of that pressure off herself and just relax and play. And yes, she has had that upper body build for several years now. She seems like a nice person and I wish her luck.

Humble Rafa Says:

did she always have that muscle built?

As far as I can remember, she has been muscle built. Not as bad as Lyeton’s sister though. I was shocked when I saw her picture.

Wog boy Says:

Humble Rafa, Leyton’s sister, as far as I know, is or was in body building sport, professionally as competitor. Stosur definitelly wasn’t like this until she was struck with certain illnes, about four years ago, disappeared for one year and came back bigger and stronger. Just compare the photos, as I said, i am pretty sure her voice became deeper too. Before she was average single and very good double player. Things changed in last three years. She has got GS and that is what matters, I don’t think she will do it again.
Btw, I watched Leyton last night, brave win but I don’t see reason why he is doining this any more, he is in the pain, he can not move relly good and is sad to watch shadow of himself, unless he has to. He has got beautifull family, three kids, mate, go and enjoy life, you deserved it.

Kimmi Says:

So wog boy, you think stosur is using something to make herself big?

Wog boy Says:

Kimmi, I am not qualified to say that, but she definitely changed her apperance, to put it that way, from Sam Stosur before and after she was bitten by the tick, that caused her illnes. That is all I am saying. She is obvioslly working very hard and spending a lot of time in the gym. She is a humble girl and deserves credit for what she achived at USO, and last two years, and she is not the first female player that transformed herself into muscly woman midway through her career.

Roberto Says:

I wonder how #1 Seed Caroline wound up with arguably the toughest draw including Li Na, Clijsters, and Jancovic. Maria’s is not easy either with Serena and Zvonareva. While Azarenka only needs to get past Radwanska and Kvitova will breeze to the semis.

Top story: Devastated Andy Murray Won't Play The Australian Open