Adelaide top seed Sabalenka handed shock defeat by Peterson
World number two Aryna Sabalenka’s preparations for the Australian Open suffered another setback on Tuesday with a shock 5-7 6-1 7-5 defeat by Sweden’s Rebecca Peterson in the first round of the Adelaide International.
The Belarusian top seed committed 21 double faults in an error-strewn performance which consigned her to a second defeat in as many matches after being beaten by Kaja Juvan, then ranked world number 100, in Adelaide last week.
“Honestly, this was the weirdest match I’ve ever played,” Peterson said after her win over the two-time Grand Slam semifinalist in two hours 18 minutes. “It was tough staying in there, but I knew she was struggling a lot.”
Peterson, ranked 93rd in the world, will next face American Madison Brengle, who beat Russian Anastasia Potapova 7-5 4-6 6-1.
Also advancing to the next round was Slovenian fourth seed Tamara Zidansek, who fought back from a set down against Heather Watson to claim a 2-6 6-2 7-6(4) win.
Later on Tuesday, American third seed Coco Gauff will take on Katerina Siniakova, while Sorana Cirstea faces Anhelina Kalinina.
In the men’s ATP 250 tournament, Kwon Soon-woo, who in September became the first South Korean to win a title on the ATP Tour in 18 years, beat fifth seed Lloyd Harris 5-7 7-5 6-4.
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