Unseeded American Sofia Kenin delivered an eye-popping upset by ousting top-seeded Caroline Garcia 6-3, 6-2 on Tuesday in the first round of the Hobart International in Australia.
The 20-year-old Kenin needed just 73 minutes to finish off the Frenchwoman, defeating her for the second straight time.
Garcia’s loss comes on the heels of a first-round exit last week in the Shenzhen Open when she lost to Serbia’s Ivana Jorovic.
Garcia hit 21 winners but was hurt by 28 unforced errors.
Kenin will face Tunisia’s Ons Jabeur in the second round.
Switzerland’s Belinda Bencic also pulled off an upset by dispatching second-seeded Romanian Mihaela Buzarnescu 4-6, 6-3, 7-5.
Bencic closed out the 2-hour, 36-minute match on her fifth match point and advances to face Australian wild card Zoe Hives.
“It was an incredible, up-and-down match,” Bencic said afterward. “It was very hard work. All matches are hard work, but this one especially with the wind.”
Russia’s Anna Blinkova also scored an upset with a 6-2, 0-6, 6-2 victory over China’s third-seeded Shuai Zhang. Poland’s Magda Linette also notched one with a 3-6, 6-2, 6-4 victory over Greek fourth seed Maria Sakkari.
Three seeded players won matches. Sixth-seeded Alize Cornet of France defeated Australia’s Alison Bai 6-4, 6-2; seventh-seeded Kirsten Flipkens of Belgium knocked off Slovenia’s Dalila Jakupovic 6-4, 7-5, and eighth-seeded Belgian Alison Van Uytvanck defeated American Madison Brengle 7-6 (5), 7-5.
Fifth-seeded Czech Petra Kvitova cooled off Aryna Sabalenka of Belarus with a 6-1, 7-5 victory in a first-round match.
Kvitova hit 28 winners in the 80-minute win over Sabalenka, who was fresh off winning the Shenzhen Open.
“I’m happy with my performance in the first round,” Kvitova said after the victory. “She’s a big server and a big hitter from the baseline, and I’m really happy I was able to win it.”
Second-seeded Angelique Kerber of Germany outlasted Italy’s Camila Giorgi 7-6 (3), 6-2. Giorgi smacked 22 of her 34 winners in the opening set.
Fourth-seeded American Sloane Stephens rebounded from an awful first set to post an 0-6, 7-6 (3), 7-6 (3) win over Russia’s Ekaterina Alexandrova in 2 hours, 38 minutes.
Third-seeded Spaniard Garbine Muguruza withdrew from her second-round match due to a gastrointestinal illness, allowing seventh-seeded Kiki Bertens of the Netherlands to advance.
Also, Aliaksandra Sasnovich of Belarus upset eighth-seeded Russian Daria Kasatkina 6-1, 6-4.
—Field Level Media