Montreal August 12, 2012
Beaten: Australian Sam Stosur. Photo: Reuters
REIGNING US Open champion Sam Stosur suffered a blow ahead of her title defence in New York later this month when she lost to Lucie Safarova in the third round of the Rogers Cup in Montreal on Friday.
Just over two weeks from the start of the last grand slam of the year, the Australian fourth seed went down 7-6 (11-9), 7-6 (7-5) to Safarova.
Both players broke the other's serve in the opening set but were unable to strike again, leaving Czech 16th seed Safarova to grab first-set honours after a marathon tiebreaker.
Stosur had problems with her second serve, winning only 37 per cent of the points on her second delivery in the entire match.
Two breaks each in the second set meant another tiebreaker was needed to separate them, and Safarova held her nerve to claim victory in two hours, 10 minutes.
World No. 2 Maria Sharapova withdrew from next week's ATP-WTA Cincinnati event with the same stomach virus that has kept her from the Montreal event.
The Russian Olympic silver medallist reported on her website that she would not play any events before the US Open begins on August 27. World No. 1 Victoria Azarenka also pulled out of the Rogers Cup with a knee injury.
Meanwhile, France's Jo-Wilfried Tsonga has been forced to withdraw from Cincinnati after injuring himself in an accident in Toronto, his agent said. The 27-year-old had stitches in his right knee after walking into a fire hydrant. He has been told to rest for 10 days, with his agent saying his US Open participation ''is not in doubt''.
Top seed Novak Djokovic came through two matches on a rain-soaked day at the Toronto Masters to move into the semi-finals.
Djokovic needed almost 2½ hours to hold off Tommy Haas 6-3, 3-6, 6-3 and earlier defeated American Sam Querrey 6-4, 6-4 in a match which lasted just 65 minutes but was interrupted by rain.