The first day of the first Grand Slam of the year has seen some top players fall. This was highlighted by the ouster of World No.5, Venus Williams, by the unseeded Belinda Bencic in two straight sets.
The 2017 finalist was gracious in defeat to the 20-year-old Swiss.
“I think she played well. I don’t think I played a bad match. She just played above and beyond. I just have to give her credit for that.
“I didn’t play so bad, I wasn’t missing every shot. It just didn’t work out,” Venus said.
Also sent packing on the first day were the Americans – World No. 9, Coco Vandeweghe, and 2017 US Open winner, Sloane Stephens.
The hard-hitting Vandeweghe fell to Timea Babos in two straight sets of 7-6 6-2 while Stephens was beaten by China’s Shuai Zhang in three sets after Stephens had taken on the first 6-2. Zhang came back with a tie-breaker win in the second before an easier 6-2 demolition in the third.
Also bundled out in the women’s draw are Ekaterina Makarova, who was World No. 8 in 2015 and Francesca Schiavone, the 2010 French Open champion.
In the men’s draw, Britain’s Kyle Edmund got the better of 2017 US Open finalist, Kevin Anderson, in a grueling five-setter. The Briton won 6-7 6-3 6-3 6-3 6-4. Andrey Rublev also ousted David Ferrer in five sets while Matthew Ebden got the better of John Isner in four.