19 Jan 2016

Auckland champ goes home early

4:56 am on 19 January 2016

The Australian Open's underway, and new Auckland tennis champion Sloane Stephens has already been knocked out in straight sets, by Chinese qualifier Qiang Wang.

Wang prevailed 6-3 6-3 over the 24th-seeded Stephens of the USA.

American Sloane Stephens has advanced to the final at Auckland's ASB Tennis Classic.

Auckland champion Sloane Stephens was dumped out on the opening afternoon in Melbourne Photo: PHOTOSPORT

The 17th seed Sara Errani was the biggest casualty so far, Russia's Margarita Gasparyan getting the better of the Italian 1-6 7-5 6-1.

Top seed Serena Williams and both Czech sixth seeds Petra Kvitova and Tomas Berdych had straight sets wins, while Japanese seventh seed Kei Nishikori also progressed easily over Germany's Philipp Kohlschreiber.

Williams beat Camila Giorgi of Italy 6-4 7-5, while Kvitova beat Thai qualifier Luksika Kumkhum 6-3 6-1.

Berdych had little trouble either with Indian Yuki Bhambri, winning 7-5 6-1 6-2.

Others to progress included 12th-seeded Croat Marin Cilic, who beat Dutchman Thiemo de Bakker 6-7 7-5 6-2 6-4.

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