Sports

Ostapenko trades bagels in knocking out Mladenovic at St Petersburg


Former champion Kristina Mladenovic crashed out of the St Petersburg Ladies Trophy in a bizarre contest with Jelena Ostapenko, as Garbine Muguruza made a strong start to the Thailand Open.


The Frenchwoman failed to live with the destructive hitting of Ostapenko, champion at Roland Garros in 2017, as she lost the first set 6-1, only to respond in stunning fashion in the second, which she won without dropping a game.


Ostapenko, knocked out in the first round of the Australian Open replied in kind, though, setting up a second-round clash with Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova - who overcame Alize Cornet - despite hitting 35 unforced errors to her 25 winners.


Victoria Azarenka, whose first-round exit at the Australian Open reduced her to tears as she bemoaned her loss of form, was able to produce a strong performance in a 6-4 6-1 defeat of Margarita Gasparyan, which sealed a second-round meeting with the runner-up in Melbourne, top seed Petra Kvitova.


Meanwhile in Hua Hin, Muguruza dispensed of former Wimbledon finalist Sabine Lisicki 6-3 6-4 in 79 minutes, the two-time grand slam champion taking advantage of 26 unforced errors from the racket of the German to progress.


Jennifer Brady stunned a player ranked 98 places above her by seeing off second seed Caroline Garcia 6-4 7-6 (7-3) and there were also wins for Zheng Saisai, Duan Ying-ying, Tamara Zidansek, Viktorija Golubic, Zhang Shuai and Wang Yafan.






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