United States' Venus Williams attends a press conference following her first round loss to Switzerland's Belinda Bencic at the Australian Open tennis championships in Melbourne, Australia, Monday, Jan. 15, 2018. (AP Photo/Mark Baker)
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Venus Williams and U.S. Open champion Sloane Stephens were upset early and the bleak opening day for Americans continued at the Australian Open on Monday with the women going 0 for 8 by mid-afternoon and John Isner joining them as a first-round casualty.In her first match at Rod Laver Arena since a Williams sister was guaranteed to win the final almost 12 months ago, Venus Williams lost her opener to Belinda Bencic and ensured the title won't stay in the family.The 6-3, 7-5 loss for Venus Williams was her first in five career meetings with Bencic, who lost to Serena Williams in the first round here last year.Bencic, who was born a couple of months after the last time there was no Williams in the second round at the Australian Open (1997), hit 32 winners, had 12 unforced errors, converted five of her 11 break-point chances and only dropped serve twice. Williams got 70 percent of her first serves into play and had more unforced errors (26) than winners (22).No. 16 Isner lost in four sets to Australian Matt Edben.
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