Stephens out in first round again

US Open champion Sloane Stephens suffered a first-round defeat for the second consecutive week when she lost 6-3, 6-0 to qualifier Christina McHale at the China Open yesterday.

The 15th-seeded Stephens, wearing all pink, saw her match delayed by rain falling on Beijing's outdoor hardcourts. When it finally got started, she failed to fire, going out to her fellow American in just 62 minutes.

The loss extended Stephens' poor run after winning her first Grand Slam title at Flushing Meadows last month.

Last week, the 24-year-old similarly fell at the first hurdle, losing to China's Wang Qiang at the Wuhan Open.

"Tough day, not really much to say," she said.

"Obviously not a great match so just forget about it and move on, try to have a better level for the next tournament (Hong Kong)."