BRISBANE, Australia - Former US Open champion Samantha Stosur’s miserable Australian form continued on Monday when she was knocked out of the first round of the Brisbane International by Sweden’s Sofia Arvidsson.
Arvidsson took full advantage of 48 unforced errors from the Australian number one to win 7-6 (7/4), 7-5 on Pat Rafter Arena.
Stosur, who grew up on the nearby Gold Coast, has struggled to live up to expectations when playing in her home tournament and has not made it past the second round in four attempts.
She has also failed to make an impression at the Australian Open, last year losing in the first round to Romania’s Sorana Cirstea as sixth seed.
Stosur began confidently against Arvidsson but fell away dramatically as her error rate climbed and despite fighting hard to stay in the match, she never seriously threatened the Swede.
Earlier, former world number one Caroline Wozniacki lost valuable Australian Open match practice when she lost to Kazakhstan qualifier Ksenia Pervak.
In a titanic battle lasting 2hrs 48mins, left-handed Pervak eased past Wozniacki 2-6, 6-3, 7-6 (7/1) in the first shock of the season-opening WTA tournament.
Eighth-seeded Wozniacki had looked in control as she reeled off the first set in just 29 minutes.
But the Russian-born Pervak found her range in the second set and had the Dane constantly under pressure with her swinging left-handed groundstrokes.
She won the set to level the match then stunned Wozniacki in the deciding set with an all-out attack.
“I had a really tough match yesterday, we played for three hours and I was tired in the beginning,” Pervak said.
“But then I got into the game (and) it was easy. I won a few games and I felt that I can do it and I started to fight more.”
Pervak said she knew she could not give the more experienced Wozniacki any cheap points in the tiebreak.
“I just told myself that I needed to be focused on every point and just play my game as aggressively as I could,” she said.
Wozniacki will play in Sydney next week in a last-ditch bid to find some form ahead of the January 14-27 Australian Open in Melbourne.
“Obviously you’re a competitor so you want to win and you’re not happy about it when you lose, no matter who you lose to or how you lose,” she said.
“I fought until the end today. Maybe I didn’t play my best tennis today, but it’s tough to expect that from yourself in your first match back.
“Hopefully I can now play some practice matches with some of the other girls here and then go to Sydney and hopefully get a couple more there.”
It was 21-year-old Pervak’s first win over a top 10 player and the first time she has been past the first round in Brisbane in four attempts.
Fourth seed Angelique Kerber survived a tough three-setter against Georgia’s Anna Tatishvili, winning 6-2, 4-6, 6-2, while German compatriot Sabine Lisicki had a more straightforward 6-2, 6-4 win over Czech Lucie Safarova.
French Open runner-up and fifth seed Sara Errani thumped Russia’s Olga Puchkova 6-1, 6-3.
In the men’s draw, Japan’s fifth seed Kei Nishikori downed Australian number one Marinko Matosevic 7-5, 6-2, sixth seed Florian Mayer beat Santiago Giraldo of Colombia 6-4, 6-4 and Finland’s Jarkko Nieminen outlasted Frenchman Julien Benneteau 6-3, 2-6, 6-1.