Open experience ends for West Aussie

Craig O'Donoghue, Melbourne
Open experience ends for West Aussie

West Australian Storm Sanders has been knocked out of the Australian Open despite an encouraging performance against one of the top 50 players in the world.

The 454th ranked Sanders lost 7-5 6-4 to 46th ranked Czech Klara Koukalova.

Sanders fought back from 1-4 in the first set after some early battles with her serving. Her powerful forehand gave Koukalova plenty of problems and Sanders was determined to play aggressive tennis.

But Koukalova steadied to win the first set 7-5.

Koukalova again broke Sanders in the first game of the second set but Sanders refused to wilt. She broke back immediately and was in a strong position with the Czech struggling to hold in the sixth game.

But Koukalova held and then Sanders lost momentum as her opponent asked for an injury time out to attend to an ankle problem.

Sanders lost her serve the next game before again showing a steely resolve to break back and level the set at 4-4.

She had game point to lead 5-4 but was broken ans then Koukalova closed out the match.