MELBOURNE, Australia – Japan’s Aiko Nakamura crashed out of the Australian Open after a straight-sets loss to seventh-seeded Patty Schnyder of Switzerland in the third round on Saturday.
Nakamura, the only Asian who advanced past the singles second round, was kept on the defensive for much of the match in the face of deep, powerful groundstrokes in a 6-2, 6-3 defeat at Melbourne Park.
“Her strokes were so deep that I had to return them from well outside the court, making it hard for me to play my own game,” said Nakamura, who committed 30 unforced errors to Schnyder’s 22.
“I’m very disappointed and I feel like the joy of reaching the third round was cut in half,” she added.
Nakamura, an unseeded 22-year-old ranked 59th in the world, played in the third round of a Grand Slam tournament for the first time in her career after a 6-1, 6-1 win over 31st-seeded Argentine Gisela Dulko in the second round on Thursday.
In the women’s doubles, No. 9 seeds Shinobu Asagoe of Japan and Slovenian partner Katarina Srebotnik earned their place in the last 16 with a 7-6 (7-3), 6-2 win over Taiwan’s Hsieh Su-wei and Tamarine Tanasugarn of Thailand.
Sixth-seeds Ai Sugiyama of Japan and Slovakian Daniela Hantuchova also advanced after a 6-4, 6-3 defeat of Chinese pair Li Na and Peng Shuai in another second-round match.