9 January 2017 | Alex Sharp

It was a tough day for Australian No.1 Sam Stosur at the Apia International Sydney.

World No.27 Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova prevailed 6-3 6-1 in their first round clash on Monday.

The Russian had won their last two encounters and put pressure on the usually effective serve from the home favourite.

At 2-5 down Stosur rallied to break back, but the momentum immediately shifted as Pavlyuchenkova found her range on return.

The 32-year-old won less than 50 per cent of points on serve as her counterpart only offered two break points for Stosur to attack.

Stosur will now have extra time to prepare for her home Grand Slam at Melbourne Park next week.