(Reuters) -World number two Aryna Sabalenka’s preparations for the Australian Open suffered another setback on Tuesday with a shock 5-7 6-1 7-5 defeat by Sweden’s Rebecca Peterson in the first round of the Adelaide International.
The Belarusian top seed committed 21 double faults in an error-strewn performance which consigned her to a second defeat in as many matches after being beaten by Kaja Juvan, then ranked world number 100, in Adelaide last week.
“Honestly, this was the weirdest match I’ve ever played,” Peterson said after her win over the two-times Grand Slam semi-finalist in two hours 18 minutes. “It was tough staying in there, but I knew she was struggling a lot.”
Peterson, ranked 93rd in the world, will next face American Madison Brengle, who beat Russian Anastasia Potapova 7-5 4-6 6-1.
Later on Tuesday, American third seed Coco Gauff swiftly dismantled Katerina Siniakova in just over an hour, breaking the Czech’s serve twice in both the first and second set to record a 6-1 6-2 win.
“She’s not an easy player to play, she hits a lot of balls back and keeps fighting,” the 17-year-old said.
Gauff will play Ukraine’s Marta Kostyuk in the next round.
Also advancing to the next round was Slovenian fourth seed Tamara Zidansek, who fought back from a set down against Heather Watson to claim a 2-6 6-2 7-6(4) win.
In the men’s ATP 250 tournament, local hope Thanasi Kokkinakis, who made the semi-finals in Adelaide last week, proved to be too much for Frenchman Benoit Paire, winning 6-4 6-0.
“Playing Paire is always a tricky one, you never know what you’re going to get. He’s super talented and can pull shots from anywhere, so I had to weather the storm a little bit,” Kokkinakis said.
Kwon Soon-woo, who in September became the first South Korean to win a title on the ATP Tour in 18 years, beat fifth seed Lloyd Harris 5-7 7-5 6-4.
(Reporting by Aadi Nair in Bengaluru; Editing by Peter Rutherford and Christian Radnedge)