Sloane Stephens and Madison Keys among upsets at Wuhan Open

Sloane Stephens and Madison Keys among upsets at Wuhan Open”

US Open champion Sloane Stephens crashed out of the Dongfeng Motor Wuhan Open in the first round to Wang Qiang, losing 6-2, 6-2. Despite a strong fight by the American in the second set, Wang - spurred on by the home crowd in the 15,000-capacity stadium - proved too strong for the 24-year-old. "But my opponent played very well", Stephens told a post-match press conference. "So it's just not a good day today". "I think it's just about staying healthy and making sure my body doesn't fall apart", she said, adding: "My goal was never to win a tournament or win a Grand Slam".

She said her only aim was to stay fit and healthy, after a foot injury led to an 11-month absence from the game and saw her plummet to 957th in the world.

"I can't really do any damage to it, it's just a really uncomfortable pain - like nerve pain - and obviously once you have nerve pain and it starts, it's really hard to calm down", she said.

"I didn't play a great match". I mean, things happen. So no partying for me.

Keys also crashed out at the first hurdle in the hot and steamy Chinese city, losing to USA qualifier Varvara Lepchenko after struggling to overcome a longstanding wrist injury.

The 22-year-old Keys, seeded 10th in China, broke Lepchenko early in the second set, but the Uzbekistan-born naturalised American recovered her form quickly to regain her grip on the tie and eventually won the second set in the tiebreak 7-4.

Following the match, Keys admitted to having some pain in her left wrist and may examine her schedule in the coming weeks.

"The strength (of my wrist) has been the biggest issue".

In other matches, Angelique Kerber of Germany, the 12th seed, fell to Caroline Garcia of France.

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