Defending champ Wozniak ousted by Hantuchova in first round at Stanford

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STANFORD, Calif. - Canadian Aleksandra Wozniak's title defence came to an end before it barely began.
The Blainville, Que., native was beaten by Slovakia's Daniela Hantuchova 6-4, 4-6, 7-5 in the first round of the US$700,000 Bank of the West Classic on Tuesday.
Wozniak, 21, became the first Canadian in 20 years to capture a Tour title when she won the tournament last year, the greatest triumph of her tennis career.
"It's frustrating, I'm defending champion and losing first round," Wozniak said on a conference call. "But I'm taking the positive side, I was playing really great tennis, and I got so close, but I didn't take the opportunities."
Wozniak was playing her first match since Wimbledon just over a month ago, and said rust may have been a factor against Hantuchova, who was once ranked No. 5 in the world.
"For sure, when you lose first round, you're a little bit disappointed but I'm just starting after four weeks off, I need a few more matches," Wozniak said. "I'm pretty confident that Ill find my groove in the matches and do much better next tournament."
Later Tuesday, second-seeded Venus Williams pulled out enough of her top shots to beat Stephanie Dubois of Laval, Que., 6-2, 6-3.
After neither player held serve through the first three games of the opening set, Williams then cruised the rest of the way in the first meeting between the two.
"It was a great match to get my rhythm, hit a lot of balls and work on my shots," said Williams, who won titles here in 2000 and '02. "It's all about the mentality. I usually adjust pretty quickly. ... I do want to try new and different things."Two hours later Serena Williams broke serve three times in the opening set but needed a second-set tiebreaker to beat Li Na of China 6-3, 7-6 (6). The Williams sisters will also play in doubles competition at the US$700,000 event.

Organizations: Bank of the West Classic

Geographic location: Stanford, Blainville, Slovakia Wimbledon Laval

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