Barty number one ranking in jeopardy after shock loss

Elina Svitolina

Elina Svitolina

World number one Ashleigh Barty lost to American Sofia Kenin in the second round of the Rogers Cup in Toronto.

Kenin posted a first win over Barty after three prior losses to the Australian.

Before the match Barty revealed that she hadn't played any tennis for two weeks after Wimbledon and said "a little bit of rust" crept into her game.

"And Sofia served today in the big moments. She served particularly well and got a lot of free points". With the momentum on her side, Kenin broke in the third game of the final set after yet another loose forehand from Barty, repelling three break points in the next game to confirm the advantage and hitting a forehand down the line victor for a break at 15 in game five that pushed her closer to the finish line.

But Kenin then took control of proceedings in the second, carving out a 4-0 lead before stifling a three-game Barty comeback to take the match to a third set.

Kenin, who had seen Barty pull back one of two service breaks in the set, then calmly served it out, giving herself a fourth match point with a forehand victor and lifting her arms in triumph as Barty fired a forehand long.

Barty played with tape on her right shoulder, which she said was preventative after the added stress of hitting balls that bounced higher off the court over the last couple days. "Such a tough player and it was a tough match and I am just so happy to have pulled through". Former world number one Azarenka, of Belarus, reached the second round with a 6-2, 6-2 win over Camila Giorgi.

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Stephens fell to Marie Bouzkova of the Czech Republic 6-2, 7-5.

Second-seeded Osaka will open her campaign on Wednesday against Germany's Tatjana Maria, and if the Japanese star wins there will be a new number one next week.

In other matches, seven-times Grand Slam champion Venus Williams was eliminated in the first round with a 6-4 6-2 loss to Spaniard Carla Suarez-Navarro. Suarez Navarro, ranked 26th in the world, snapped a five-match losing streak against the 56th-ranked Williams.

"She was just extra sharp", said Williams.

"All in all, I didn't adjust well enough or quick enough to the conditions how I needed to".

Croatia's Donna Vekic beat American 14th seed Madison keys 3-6 7-6 (5) 7-6 (5) in the first round while Wimbledon quarter-finalist Zhang Shuai beat Latvia's Anastasija Sevastova 7-6 (5) 6-2 and will next face Russian qualifier Ekaterina Alexandrova, who beat Japan's Misaki Doi 6-2 6-2.

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