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US Open finalist Leylah Fernandez upset in Australian Open first round




MELBOURNE, Australia — Four months later and halfway around the world, Leylah Fernandez lost to a 133rd-ranked wildcard in her first Grand Slam tennis match since finishing second at the US Open.

The 19-year-old Canadian suffered an upset 6-2, 6-4 loss to Maddison Inglis in the first round of the Australian Open on Tuesday, the third straight year she failed to advance to the second round in the first tennis match. major of the year.

Fernandez committed 30 unforced errors, lost serve three times and hit just eight winners at 1573 Arena against Inglis, who converted his third match point to complete his first-ever main draw win at a major. She lost in the first round of the Australian Open last year to defending champion Sofia Kenin.

For Fernandez, the venue and atmosphere were a far cry from her run to the final at Flushing Meadows, where she lost to Emma Raducanu. Raducanu was scheduled to play later on Tuesday against 2017 US Open champion Sloane Stephens.

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Navigating the first round of a major tournament can be tricky business, as two-time major winner Garbine Muguruza knows.

Third-seeded Muguruza rode a perfect streak as she won her first-round match at the Australian Open for the 10th consecutive time, beating No. 77-seeded Clara Burel 6-3, 6- 4 to open the game on the Rod Laver Arena. on day 2.

Runner-up in Australia in 2020 against Kenin – who lost in the first round on Monday – Muguruza said she was always very cautious at the start of a big tournament.

“I’m aware, I’m aware,” Muguruza said with a laugh, when asked if she knew her streak at Melbourne Park. Grand Slam campaign I always went through the first round.

“Very happy with the way I played and of course the nerve control.”

Third seed Muguruza next faces French veteran Alize Cornet, who beat Viktoriya Tomova 6-3, 6-3.

Sixth-seeded Anett Kontaveit, second to Muguruza in last year’s WTA Finals, picked up a 6-2, 6-3 win over Katerina Siniakova. Seventh-seeded Iga Swiatek, the 2020 French Open champion, started with a 6-3, 6-0 win over 123rd-seeded British qualifier Harriet Dart.

No 10 Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova and No 14 Simona Halep, a former No 1 and two-time major winner who reached the 2018 final here at Melbourne Park, have also progressed.

No. 19 Elise Mertens beat Vera Zvonareva 6-4, 7-5, and former US Open champion Sam Stosur rallied to beat Robin Anderson of the United States 6-7 (5), 6 -3, 6-3 to start his 20th – – and finally – Australian Open campaign.

Two-time Wimbledon champion Petra Kvitova lost to Romania’s Sorana Cirstea for the second straight year, this time 6-2, 6-2 in the first round.

“Yeah, I think she likes my game, she’s going for it,” said Kvitova, an Australian Open runner-up three years ago. “I also had health issues all month, so it was difficult to train during the month at home.

“But the season is long, so hopefully it will reverse.”

The Associated Press contributed to this report.




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