Sam Stosur has an unbelievably bad record of playing on Australian soil ever since winning the US Open in 2011. With a world ranking of 9 and seeded 6 at the Apia International Sydney tournament, Stosur played in the last match on Monday on the Ken Rosewall Arena against Jie Zheng of China, unseeded and ranked at 42 on the WTA list.
One of the shortest players on the tour at just 5 foot four and a half inches, the wily Zheng got the better of Stosur in the first set, taking it 6-3, but the Aussie came back to take the second set on a tie breaker 7-5. The deciding set was again very close, but Zheng eventually got the break to go 5-3 up. Stosur was not ready to go home yet and broke back to 5-4, but could not sustain the momentum and Zheng took it 6-4 to move into the second round.
Zheng will next play Madison Keys, who easily beat Lucie Safarova 6-2 6-1.
Another turn up for the books was when the Japanese qualifier Ayumi Morita, took out the very experienced Slovak Daniela Hantuchova. Both these players were unseeded. Morita is ranked at 85, while Hantuchova is ranked at 32. The Slovak came out of the blocks firing on all cylinders and took the first set on the trot at 6-1, but Morita began to read Hantuchova’s game – and especially her serve – better and took the second set 6-3. She continued to dominate in the decided, taking it 6-3 for game, set and match. She will play Na Li in the second round.