Sloane Stephens out of Brisbane, Andy Murray advances

By Daily Sports on January 2, 2019

Views: 118

Former U.S. Open champion Sloane Stephens has been bundled out of the Brisbane International in the first round by Briton Johanna Konta.

A 2016 Australian Open semifinalist, world No. 37 Konta upset third-seeded American Stephens 6-4 6-3 in under two hours to book a second round clash with Australia’s Ajla Tomljanovic.

World No. 46 Tomljanovic began her Brisbane campaign with a 1-6 6-3 6-0 win over Czech Katerina Siniakova.

Contesting the Brisbane event for the first time in five years, world No. 6 Stephens began sluggishly against Konta in their first career meeting and was punished for a string of unforced errors.

The 2017 US Open winner Stephens’ only respite came at 1-0 down in the second set when play was suspended for several minutes when a member of the crowd was treated for a medical issue.

Stephens, 25, had hoped to pick up where she left off in 2018 after entering a new season ranked in the world’s top 10 for the first time.

However, Stephens must now reload at next week’s Sydney International in her final hit-out before the opening grand slam in Melbourne.

It marked the 27-year-old Konta’s 15th career victory over a top 10 opponent and first since knocking over world No. 2 Simona Halep at 2017 Wimbledon.

Meanwhile, later on the center court, three-time grand slam champion Andy Murray has shown no sign of rust in his return from an injury-hit 2018, downing Australian wildcard James Duckworth in the first round.

In his first event since September after a hip injury limited his season to six tournaments, the former world No. 1 overcame Duckworth 6-3 6-4 in less than 90 minutes.

Dual champion Murray extended his Brisbane record to 10-0, booking a second round clash with fourth-seeded Russian Daniil Medvedev. (ESPN)

•Photo shows Tennis star, Andy Murray 

Source Daily Sports

Posted January 2, 2019

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