The last time we saw Samantha Stosur of Australia, she was getting bounced out of the Brisbane International by Jarmila Groth. Determined not to let history repeat, Stosur maintained a strong service game, never facing a break point, in defeating Belgium’s Yanina Wickmayer 7-5 6-4 to open her run at the Medibank International Sydney. In a match-up worthy of the later rounds, a single break in both sets was the slim margin Stosur needed to slip by last weeks ASB Classic finalist. Other seeded players advancing included seventh seed Victoria Azarenka of Belarus who needed three hours to defeat Russian qualifier Ekaterina Makarova 2-6 6-2 6-4, and eighth seed LI Na of China, who needed only 55 minutes to defeat Anastasia Rodionova of Australia 6-1 6-2.
Seeded players not surviving the first round included fifth seed Francesca Schiavone of Italy, who lost to Alisa Kleybanova of Russia 6-7 (5) 6-1 6-2, and sixth seeded Serbian Jelena Jankovic, who lost to Aravane Rezai of France 7-5 2-6 6-3. Although on paper those are both upsets, in defense of both seeds those are two very tough up and coming players to have to start the tournament and year against. Rezai comes into Medibank ranked #19 in the world while Kleybanova holds the #26 ranking. Certainly, two top 10 players like Schiavone and Jankovic should beat those two, but a loss I would categorize as a mild upset.
Singles – First Round
(4) Samantha Stosur (AUS) d. Yanina Wickmayer (BEL) 75 64
Alisa Kleybanova (RUS) d. (5) Francesca Schiavone (ITA) 67(5) 61 62
Aravane Rezai (FRA) d. (6) Jelena Jankovic (SRB) 75 26 63
(7) Victoria Azarenka (BLR) d. (Q) Ekaterina Makarova (RUS) 26 62 64
(8) Li Na (CHN) d. (WC) Anastasia Rodionova (AUS) 61 62
Shahar Peer (ISR) d. (LL) Sybille Bammer (AUT) 63 57 61
Flavia Pennetta (ITA) d. (Q) Lucie Hradecka (CZE) 64 63
María José Martínez Sánchez (ESP) d. Daniela Hantuchova (SVK) 62 64
Dominika Cibulkova (SVK) d. Maria Kirilenko (RUS) 63 63
(Q) Barbora Zahlavova Strycova (CZE) d. Nadia Petrova (RUS) 62 62
(Q) Bojana Jovanovski (SRB) d. Kaia Kanepi (EST) 64 64
(Q) Virginie Razzano (FRA) d. (Q) Sandra Zahlavova (CZE) 76(4) 62