Wozniacki, Zvonareva & Stosur all lose in Sydney!

World number one Caroline Wozniacki’s preparations for the Australian Open suffered another big blow as she was dumped out of the Medibank International in Sydney by Dominika Cibulkova. Danish star Wozniacki was given a bye into the second round of the Sydney event, but she only lasted one match in the tournament as she was beaten 6-3 6-3 by Cibulkova. Her defeat in an hour and 40 minutes of a rain-interrupted contest saw Wozniacki become the first top seed since American Jennifer Capriati in 2003 to lose her opening match in Sydney. Pressure is mounting on Wozniacki, who became world number one in October but is still without a Grand Slam to her name as she heads into next week’s Australian Open in Melbourne. After losing exhibition matches to world number two Vera Zvonareva and Kim Clijsters, Wozniacki lost her first competitive match of 2011 to continue her poor record in Sydney, but she insists she will be on form next week in Melbourne despite her lack of match practice. “I just want to get everything together, all the puzzles together that I’ve been working on, and to make everything function,” Wozniacki said. “I want everything to just click. At the start of the new season you always need to get into the match play. I didn’t feel that I was playing great tennis out there. “So I definitely now just need to get some sets going and some training matches, head to Melbourne and get ready. Last year I had the same start, so hopefully slow start, good finish. “Sometimes you win, sometimes you lose. You need to learn from the losses. There were a few positive things in there that I can take out of it, and then I just need to work on the rest. “But I’m confident that for Melbourne I’ll be OK.”

Australian Open favourite Clijsters had few problems negotiating the second round in Sydney as she beat the Czech Republic’s Barbora Zahlavova Strycova 6-1 6-4. Second seeded Russian Zvonareva followed Wozniacki out of the event as she lost a tough encounter with Italian Flavia Pennetta 7-5 7-5. Local hope Samantha Stosur lost a tough three-set encounter with Russia’s Svetlana Kuznetsova. Having surrendered the first set Kuznetsova rallied to topple the fourth seed 3-6 6-3 6-4 in just under two hours. Seventh seed Victoria Azarenka of Belarus had no such worries, though, defeating Israel’s Shahar Peer 7-5 6-3. China’s Li Na, seeded eight, also progressed with a 6-4 1-6 6-4 victory over French qualifier Virginie Razzano and Alisa Kleybanova of Russia overcame Spain’s Maria Jose Martinez Sanchez 6-2 6-4.


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