A number of seeded players, including Americans No. 5 Venus Williams and No. 13 Sloane Stephens suffered shocking early first-round exits from the first Grand Slam of the year. Williams, a finalist in Melbourne last year, was hoping to go one better this time, but fell in straight sets to Switzerland’s Belinda Bencic on the opening day of action. The American veteran who beat Bencic four times before, fell this time, 6-3 7-5 to the 20-year-old after looking shaky from the start.