Australian Open 2018: Coco Vandeweghe and Sloane Stephens out in first round

Coco Vandeweghe
Coco Vandeweghe said she had spent the four days leading up to the Australian Open in bed with flu
2018 Australian Open
Dates: 15-28 January Venue: Melbourne Park
Coverage: Watch highlights on BBC Two, the BBC Sport website and app from 20 January. Live commentary on the best matches on BBC Radio 5 live, 5 live sports extra and online.

Tenth seed Coco Vandeweghe voiced her frustration over a lack of bananas as she lost to Timea Babos in the Australian Open first round.

"I'm waiting for the bananas," the American told chair umpire Fergus Murphy after the first set when asked why she was not ready to play.

"Why should I feel uncomfortable because the court is ill prepared?"

Vandeweghe became the third American seed in the women's draw to fall on the opening day in Melbourne.

US Open champion Sloane Stephens was knocked out by China's world number 34 Zhang Shuai, who came through 2-6 7-6 (7-2) 6-2 in one hour and 58 minutes.

The world number 13 served for the match at 5-4 in the second set, before Zhang, 28, recovered to win the tie-break and also take the final set.

It was an eighth loss in a row for Stephens, whose last win came in the US final at Flushing Meadows in September.

Meanwhile, Venus Williams - a finalist in Melbourne last year - lost 6-3 7-5 to world number 78 Belinda Bencic.

In total, 12 US players went out on day one of the tournament.

'It's not my fault that this court is ill prepared'

Coco Vandeweghe and Timea Babos
Babos (right) took an hour and 46 minutes to beat Vandeweghe

Vandeweghe received a code violation after refusing to restart play at the end of the first set until bananas were delivered.

She was given a second code violation after later appearing to swear at her Hungarian opponent, who won 7-6 (7-4) 6-2.

A semi-finalist last year, Vandeweghe said she had been suffering with flu in the days leading up to her Grand Slam season opener on Hisense Arena.

She showed her frustrations in an animated exchange with the chair umpire about fruit not being available when she needed it.

"How are they not on court? I mean, that's not my fault," she exclaimed.

"Why do I have to play under a different set of rules? I have needs and it's not my fault that this court is ill prepared."

Vandeweghe was then docked a point for a comment made at Babos. The American said she was not happy about Babos getting "in her face" but the Hungarian denied trying to provoke her.

"She always does that [loses her temper]," Babos, the world number 51, said. "A couple of racquets are broken every match, this time it was I believe a time violation, but I'm not sure.

"The second one I believe was an insult against me. If the umpire heard it then it must have been this."

An open women's draw?

Defeats for Williams and Stephens mean their side of the draw has become a more open contest - and could pave the way for a new major champion.

Second seed Caroline Wozniacki, winner of the end-of-season WTA Finals trophy beat Romanian Mihaela Buzarnescu 6-2 6-3 to record her 101st Grand Slam victory.

And fourth seed Elina Svitolina of Ukraine, winner of the Brisbane International, saw off Serbian qualifier Ivana Jorovic 6-3 6-2.

French Open champion and seventh seed Jelena Ostapenko also progressed, triumphing 6-1 6-4 against Italy's Francesca Schiavone.

German 12th seed Julia Gorges, who is now on a 15-match unbeaten run after winning her past three tournaments, progressed with a 6-4 6-4 victory over American Sofia Kenin.

Meanwhile, Estonian world number 79 Kaia Kanepi knocked out 2014 finalist and 24th seed Dominika Cibulkova 6-2 6-2 of Slovakia.

Two survive American exodus

Ryan Harrison and Mackenzie McDonald were the only two Americans to make it through on the first day of the tournament.

World number 47 Harrison beat Israel's Dudi Sela in a five-set thriller, coming through 6-3 5-7 3-6 7-5 6-2, while McDonald won 6-4 6-3 4-6 6-1 against Sweden's Elias Ymer.

Vandeweghe, Williams, Stephens, John Isner, Jack Sock, Kevin King, Taylor Townsend, Alison Riske, Catherine Bellis, Jennifer Brady, Irina Falcone and Kenin were the American losers.

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