Sunday, January 14, 2018

Stephens, Bellis lose in Australian Open

   Sloane Stephens remained winless since her stunning U.S. Open title on a terrible day for Americans in the Australian Open.
   The 13th-seeded Stephens, who grew up in Fresno, lost to Zhang Shuai of China 6-2, 6-7 (2), 6-2 today in the first round in Melbourne.
   Stephens, who served for the match, fell to 0-8 since beating friend and countrywoman Madison Keys for her first Grand Slam title.
   Other U.S. seeds who lost today were No. 5 and 2017 runner-up Venus Williams, No. 10 CoCo Vandeweghe, No. 8 Jack Sock and No. 16 John Isner.
   No. 30 Kiki Bertens of the Netherlands avenged a second-round loss to CiCi Bellis in last year's French Open, eliminating the 18-year-old San Francisco Bay Area product 6-7 (5), 6-4, 6-2.
   Bellis, last year's WTA Newcomer of the Year, made her Australian Open debut after missing last year's tournament with a leg injury.
   Bertens will play former Stanford star Nicole Gibbs, who thrashed lucky loser Viktoriya Tomova of Bulgaria 6-1, 6-1 in 48 minutes. Gibbs was the only winner of 10 American women in action.
   In a late men's match, Bay Area product Mackenzie McDonald beat fellow qualifier Elias Ymer of Sweden 6-4, 6-3, 4-6, 6-1 for his first Grand Slam main-draw victory.
   Next for McDonald, 22, is third-seeded Grigor Dimitrov. Gulp.

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