Tennis-Juvan stuns Sabalenka, Rogers upsets Sakkari in Adelaide


  • Tennis
  • Wednesday, 05 Jan 2022

FILE PHOTO: Tennis - WTA Tour Finals - Panamerican Tennis Center, Guadalajara, Mexico - November 15, 2021 Belarus' Aryna Sabalenka reacts during her group stage match against Greece's Maria Sakkari REUTERS/Carlos Perez Gallardo

ADELAIDE (Reuters) - Second seed Aryna Sabalenka suffered a shock exit at the Adelaide International on Wednesday after a 7-6(6) 6-1 defeat to world number 100 Kaja Juvan of Slovenia in the second round, while Shelby Rogers stunned Maria Sakkari 7-6(5) 2-6 6-4.

World number two Sabalenka, a semi-finalist at last year's Wimbledon and U.S. Open, struggled with her serve, racking up 18 double faults, and committed 49 unforced errors in the shock loss to the 21-year-old at the Australian Open warm-up event.

Juvan won a tight first set after trailing 2-0 and saved a set point at 6-5 in the tiebreak, before racing ahead 3-0 in the second to storm to victory in an hour and a half.

"I really enjoyed the first set. I love when matches get tight, when it's competitive and when it's a really tight fight," Juvan said after sealing her place in the quarter-finals.

"I was feeling a little bit sorry at some points because I ... knew she's not doing the best with the serve and we all know how that feels at one point. I know she can do it better."

Rogers beat Sakkari in straight sets in the second round at Wimbledon last year and looked on course for a repeat in Adelaide but lost seven straight games after being 2-0 up in the second set.

World number six Sakkari forced the decider but Shelby fought her way back to close out the win in two hours and 18 minutes.

"It's nice to start with a big win like that. I knew it was going to be really tough today," Rogers said.

"She's coming off an incredible season last year and she's such a great competitor, so I knew I had to bring my best tennis, whatever that looks like at the beginning of the year."

Rogers will next take on seventh seed Elena Rybakina, who secured a 6-3 6-4 win over Czech qualifier Marie Bouzkova.

World number one Ash Barty will face American Coco Gauff later on Wednesday.

(Reporting by Hritika Sharma in Bengaluru; Editing by Peter Rutherford)

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