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Australian Open: Top 10 seeds Garbine Muguruza, Anett Kontaveit fall

Garbine Muguruza plays a forehand return to Alize Cornet.
Garbine Muguruza plays a forehand return to Alize Cornet during their second round match at the Australian Open in Melbourne, Australia Thursday.
(Hamish Blair / Associated Press)

The surprises started early at the Australian Open on Thursday. No. 3 seed Garbine Muguruza became the highest-seeded player to exit at Melbourne Park, just minutes after No. 6 Anett Kontaveit lost.

Muguruza never managed to earn a single break point and made 33 unforced errors, more than twice her opponent’s total, in a 6-3, 6-3 defeat against Alize Cornet in the second round under a bright blue and cloudless sky at Rod Laver Arena.

“A little bit surprised about my level. I am a little disappointed, too,” said Muguruza, who won the season-ending WTA Finals in 2021. “I feel like my shots weren’t as accurate and precise. I feel, also, my aggressive game wasn’t that aggressive today.”

The 61st-ranked Cornet is appearing in her 63rd major tournament — and 60th in a row — but never has been beyond the fourth round. Cornet will get a chance to equal that showing when she plays Saturday on what will be the Frenchwoman’s 32nd birthday.

She called herself “a little bit [of] a dinosaur.”

Anett Kontaveit reacts after a fall against Clara Tauson.
Anett Kontaveit reacts after a fall against Clara Tauson during their second round match at the Australian Open in Melbourne, Australia Thursday.
(Andy Brownbill / Associated Press)
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Kontaveit, who lost to Muguruza in the title match at the WTA Finals, was beaten 6-2, 6-3 by 19-year-old Clara Tauson of Denmark.

“I just went in there believing I could win, but it wasn’t like I have to win,” said Tauson, who will make her debut in the third round at a major against 2019 Australian Open semifinalist Danielle Collins.

Other women advancing included second-seeded Aryna Sabalenka and No. 7 Iga Swiatek.

Winners among the men included No. 5 Andrey Rublev and 70th-ranked Maxime Cressy of the U.S. No. 24 Dan Evans moved on when his opponent suffered an injury.

Ash Barty defeated Lucia Bronzetti, Osaka beat Madison Brengle. and Rafael Nadal defeated Yannick Hanfmann in the second round of the Australian Open.


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