Jelena Ostapenko slumps to early exit at Hong Kong Open


Jelena Ostapenko crashed out of the Hong Kong Open at the first hurdle on Monday, losing 5-7, 6-3, 6-2 to Kristina Kucova.

Third-seed Ostapenko had appeared on course for a routine victory after winning the first set of the tournament opener, but world No. 317 Kucova rallied to take the game to a decider.

The Slovakian was without a win over a top 20 player in two years, yet showed no signs of nerves to comfortably take the third set and send her more illustrious opponent home early.

Earlier, Alize Cornet sealed her first win in over a month as she swept aside Israel’s Julia Glushko 6-1, 6-2 and secured her place in the second round.

Naomi Osaka, the 2018 US Open Champion and set to be the star name in Hong Kong, withdrew from the tournament citing lower back pain.

Despite the injury, the 20-year old still travelled to Hong Kong to meet with fans.

Zheng Saisai, Luksika Kumkhum, Viktoriya Tomova and Dayana Yastremska won their respective matches to advance to round two.

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