Melbourne, Jan 15: US Open champion Sloane Stephens had to suffer a major upset in Australian Open 2018 as she lost out to China’s Shuai Zhang in the very first round of the grand slam tournament. Also Read - Roger Federer Wins Australian Open For The Sixth Time, Beats Marin Cilic
In the opening match of the day on Margaret Court Arena on Monday, China’s top bet Shuai Zhang advanced to the second round as she defeated the 13-seed Sloane Stephens 4-6, 7-6(2), 6-2. Also Read - Australian Open 2018, Mixed Doubles Final: Rohan Bopanna-Timea Babos Lose Against Mate Pavic-Gabriela Dabrowski
The World Number 13, Sloane Stephens, was leading the match at one point– she even served for the match leading 5-4 in the second set after having won the first, but she loosened her grip on the match as she conceded the second set to the Chinese player. Zhang didn’t let up in the third set as she won the hard-fought third set to clinch the match. The Chinese player kept her nerve as she inched pass Stephens in the tie-breaker. Also Read - Australian Open 2018: Rohan Bopanna-Timea Babos Enter Mixed Doubles Final
Stephens has had her share of bad form since she won the US Open in New York in September. She had lost her last eight matches against Qiang Wang, Christina McHale, Barbora Strycova, Anastasija Sevastova and others, and Camila Giorgi earlier this month.