Shenzhen - French Open champion Jelena Ostapenko slumped to
a shock defeat in the first round of the Shenzhen Open on Tuesday only days
after beating Serena Williams in the American's comeback match.
Number two seed Ostapenko of Latvia lost to the big-serving
Czech Krystina Pliskova 6-1, 6-4 in just an hour and 20 minutes.
Ostapenko had beaten Williams via a super tie-break 6-2,
3-6, 10-5 in Abu Dhabi on Saturday, but she had no answer to the power of
Pliskova, identical twin sister of former world number one Karolina.
"I felt a bit nervous in the second set, but my serve
was really working today, which was a big help," Pliskova said after the
Pliskova, third on the WTA Tour's ace charts last season,
raced out to a 5-0 lead to start the match.
"My serve was great today, especially in the first set.
I feel like it's really fast here, so that can be tricky for both of us, and
the first of us playing fast won the point."
It was not the start to 2018 that Ostapenko wanted, with the
first Grand Slam of the year, the Australian Open, starting in 13 days' time.
Earlier there had been disappointment for the home crowd
when Chinese number three seed Zhang Shuai was bundled out in three sets by
Kazakhstan's Zarina Diyas.
Results from Tuesday's matches at the WTA Tour's Shenzhen Open (x denotes seed):
Aryna Sabalenka (BLR) bt Danka Kovinic (MNE) 6-1, 6-0
Zarina Diyas (KAZ) bt Shuai Zhang (CHN x3) 6-3, 6-7 (5/7), 6-4
Ana Bogdan (ROM) bt Camila Giorgi (ITA) 6-4, 6-2
Kristyna Pliskova (CZE) bt Jelena Ostapenko (LAT x2) 6-1, 6-4