AUSTIN, Texas (AP) — Top-seeded Magda Linette was eliminated from the ATX Open in the first round with a 6-3, 4-6, 6-4 loss to 88th-ranked Varvara Gracheva on Tuesday.
Linette, ranked a career-high 21st this week, has lost three of her past five matches. That follows a five-match winning streak that carried her to her first Grand Slam semifinal at the Australian Open in January before being beaten at Melbourne Park by eventual champion Aryna Sabalenka.
Gracheva, who saved 10 of 14 break points against Linette, will face Anna Blinkova next.
Linette’s exit means three of the top six seeds departed Tuesday from the hard-court tournament that marks the debut of women’s professional tennis in Austin.
That’s because No. 2 Zhang Shuai pulled out with an illness and No. 6 Lauren Davis withdrew with an abdominal injury. Both were replaced by women who lost in the final round of qualifying: Erika Andreeva took Zhang’s place in the main draw and defeated Harriet Dart 7-6 (4), 3-6, 7-6 (3), while Nao Hibino took Davis’ spot and lost to Anna Kalinskaya 6-4, 3-6, 6-2.
Emma Raducanu, the 2021 U.S. Open champion, dropped out of the field before play began because of tonsillitis.
Among those scheduled to compete later Tuesday: 2017 U.S. Open champion Sloane Stephens and 2022 Australian Open runner-up Danielle Collins.
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