Seeds tumble on day one in Melbourne

Shahida Jacobs

Sloane Stephens may have been the first but she was by no means the last seed to fall on Monday morning with the men’s draw also seeing big defeats as the Australian Open got underway in Melbourne.

The men’s draw had early surprises as 11th seed Kevin Anderson lost to Kyle Edmunds in a five-set thriller.

Trading blows and sets, the match went down to a fifth set with Anderson claiming the early break only for Edmunds to fight back, levelling the score at 2-2.

From there the British player had the edge, breaking the lanky South African’s power serve to win 6-7, 6-3, 3-6, 6-3, 6-4.

He was joined on the sidelines by fellow big-server John Isner, who was defeated by Australian’s Matthew Ebden.

The 30-year-old came out firing in his home Grand Slam, taking the first set before Isner came back at him to level it one set apiece.

However, Ebden, buoyed by the home support, took the third set before breaking 16th seeded Isner twice in the fourth.

He won 6-4, 3-6, 6-3, 6-3 – his first win over a top-20 seed.

In the women’s draw US Open champ Stephens was the first of the big names to fall, going down 2-6, 7-6 (2), 6-2 to Zhang Shuai.

She wasn’t the only American to crash out, soon followed by Venus Williams.

Last year’s defeated Australian Open finalist, Williams fell to in-form Swiss player Belinda Bencic 6-3, 7-5, simply outplayed by the 20-year-old.

And the upsets didn’t stop there…