Ash Barty crashes out of Brisbane International


Related Story: Stosur bundled out in Brisbane, but insists she can go far at Australian OpenRelated Story: Barty reflects on brilliant 2017 as season comes to a close

High-flying Australian number one Ashleigh Barty has crashed back to earth, thrashed 6-3, 6-2 in her first-round Brisbane International clash with Ukraine's Lesia Tsurenko.

World number 17 Barty — ranked 25 spots higher than her opponent — battled from the outset in steamy conditions to succumb in just over an hour in front of a shellshocked Pat Rafter Arena.

Barty joins Sam Stosur — who was dismissed 6-1, 6-3 by seventh seed Anastasija Sevastova on Sunday — in making an early exit from the tournament.

Tsurenko, 28, booked a second-round clash with 2012 Brisbane International champion Kaia Kanepi of Estonia.

The packed crowd looked forward to a glimpse of eighth seed Barty's brilliance after the Australian's stellar 2017 run.

She started last year ranked number 271 after a season out of the game playing cricket.

Remarkably she was Australia's number one women's player by October and ended the year in the top-20, knocking over five top 10 players on the way.

Barty, 21, was expected to make light work of Tsurenko in their first career meeting at tour level.

But the crowd favourite had no answer to Tsurenko, a Brisbane semi-finalist in 2013.

Barty clinched her first WTA singles title last year and made another two finals but will now need to regroup to make an impact on the Australian Open in Melbourne.


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