Women's game getting closer in quality as seeds crash out at Australian Open

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The Australian Open has always been a Grand Slam where upsets happen on a regular occasion on both the Men's and Women's sides of the draw.

Whether this is due to being the first major tournament of the season, the distance players have to travel or a combination of the two, there is always a shock or two to be had.

However this year's tournament has taken it to a whole new level in the Women's draw where 12 seeds lost in the first round, the most since the 32 seed system was introduced at Wimbledon in 2001.


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Among the notable casualties include second seed Simona Halep, eighth seed Venus Williams, hometown favourite and 2011 US Open winner Sam Stosur and former Grand Slam finalists in Caroline Wozniacki and Sara Errani.

The trend has indeed continued into the second round where more Grand Slam winners have bit the dust.

Svetlana Kuznetsova crashed out to world number 92 Kateryna Bondarenko. The recently adopted Australian Daria Gavrilova stunned the two-time Wimbledon champion and sixth seed Petra Kvitova in straight sets, and former world no one and 19th seed Jelena Jankovic was defeated by the 98th ranked German Laura Siegemund.

So as you can see these are big upsets, and perhaps a sign that the female game is becoming more competitive. The lower ranked players are showing no fear against their more prestigious opponents.

In the men's game, it has long been the case that a player ranked in the 30-50 region had the potential to cause an upset or two against higher ranked opponents.

However, the women's game was always seen as the top 10-15 ranked players and then a severe drop in quality below that. So a more competitive group of players would be a real positive thing for tennis.

With a number of the mid-ranked seeds gone, it really gives the top players like Serena Williams, Maria Sharapova and Garbine Muguruza a simpler path - on paper - to the semi-finals.

Whatever occurs, it should be an absorbing second week of the Open, where the cream rises to the top and the 2016 season kickstarts into motion.

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Venus Williams
Maria Sharapova
Australian Open
Serena Williams

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