Upsets galore at Cincy as Karolina Pliskova, Sofia Kenin, Sloane Stephens tumble out

Karolina Pliskova disappointed

The top two seeds at the Western & Southern Open, Karolina Pliskova and Sofia Kenin, as well as former US Open champion Sloane Stephens all crashed out on Sunday.

Top seed Pliskova, who had a bye into the second round, made a good start against Russian Veronika Kudermetova, but it was the unseeded world No 41 who emerged victorious with a 7-5, 6-4 win.

World No 3 Pliskova broke in game four of the opening set, but the Russian hit back with breaks in game seven and 11 to turn things around while a single break in game nine of the second set earned her the win.

“I tried to not think about the score. I tried to fight, tried to continue play like every ball, tried to enjoy like I play in the big stadium against first-seeded,” Kudermetova said.

Reigning Australian Open champion Kenin also exited as she was upset by Alize Cornet with the Frenchwoman winning 6-1, 7-6 (9-7).

After being broken twice in the first set, Kenin put up a better fight in the second as the two players shared six breaks of serve to take it to the tie-breaker, but it was Cornet who edged it.

Cornet could face her compatriot Caroline Garcia in the third round after the world No 49 upset Sloane Stephens in her opening match.

Garcia brushed aside the 2017 US Open winner 6-3, 7-6 (7-4) to set up a clash against former world No 1 Victoria Azarenka.

“I was expecting a tough draw. Because when you see the draw, the girls in qualifying, it was kind of amazing,” Garcia said of the match.

“You’re like, ‘Okay, if I’m not seeded I’m going to play a good girl.’ Even if she’s not seeded, there is only good girls.”

Meanwhile, French Open finalist Marketa Vondrousova made another early exit as the 10th seed suffered a 6-3, 6-7 (3-7), 6-4 defeat at the hands of German qualifier Laura Siegemund in the first round.

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